ten minutes into an
early-evening ride around Bay Farm Island last night ... a scenic,
tranquil ride alongside gently-lapping waters, with the San Francisco
skyline directly across the bay ... when something suddenly smashed
into the side of my face.
It felt like a volleyball, maybe, or a lesser
planet. For a moment I came perilously close to losing my balance, I
was so startled by the sudden impact. But as it turned out it was just
a bug, imploding on my face.
missed my open mouth by half an
the guts off my cheek and
thought That could have been *dinner.* And I
try and be more vigilant about riding close-mouthed.
other stuff I'm starting
to figure out, the further we move into the whole bike-riding-as-way-of-life
process. For instance, I'd probably better start putting sunscreen
on my arms (and if I ever work up the nerve to squeeze myself into
a pair of shorts, I'll have to start slathering it on my lily-white
legs, too). I've been so careful about protecting my face from those bad
nasty California UV rays that I sorta forgot I had other
parts that might need protecting.
other things I'm learning,
along the way:
uphill sucks. The good
news, however, is that an uphill is generally
followed by a DOWNHILL.
totally *get* the idea of gears
now. Remember just a couple of weeks back, when David was first
trying to sell me on the idea of riding, and I said that I would
consider a bike as long as it didn't require any sort of shifting? (I
believe that my exact words were "NO ten-speeds! No
No 'SPEEDS,' period!")
Let's just say that I've had a change
heart in the past two weeks.
sprinklers is actually a lot more fun than riding around
are people, both on and
off the road, who just plain hate bicyclists.
Nothing you do
is going to change that. (I should know: I used to be one of those
people.) You can smile and wave pleasantly, politely announcing "Passing
on your left" ... you can smile in faux-admiration at their
ugly dog/their ugly baby/their ugly jogging shorts ... you can follow ALL rules
of traffic safety and common courtesy ... and it doesn't matter.
They're STILL gonna hope you get hit by a WebVan truck.
appears to be the way to go here. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one
that doesn't 1.) cost more than roundtrip airfare to TicTac and/or 2.)
go on like spackle. Any suggestions?
year from now, when I am a
more seasoned cyclist, I am going to be extremely
generous and forgiving towards obvious bicycle newbies. I will never
tailgate. I will never force them off a narrow bike path. I will never
zoom around them at a bazillion miles an hour, with absolutely zero
warning or acknowledgement. And I will never snicker when they're
pushing the Schwinn uphill ... even if I come back and they're STILL pushing it, forty
are the things I'm getting
better at, the more I practice: starting, stopping, maintaining my
balance, steering, shifting gears, keeping up with my cycling partner,
negotiating small bumps in the road, climbing short hills, riding with
one hand (while the other hand adjusts the bike helmet/shakes off the
carpal tunnel syndrome/discreetly tucks the bra stap back inside the
T-shirt), slowing down, speeding up, smiling cutely at fellow cyclists
(Are we cool or what?) and riding for longer distances
tiring/complaining/praying for tire failure.
are the things I still suck
at: hairpin turns, looking over my shoulder, negotiating large bumps in
the road, climbing steep hills, and forgetting about how my butt must look
my bicycle lock
combination was a snap. There are three two-digit numbers in the
series. I remember it like this: 1.) My age when I had my first
C-section, 2.) My age when I flipped that coin and signed up for AOL
Prodigy, and 3.) My age the summer I grew four bra sizes in three
understand now what they mean
by Drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry.
am constantly reaching for David's water bottleAnd since our weekday rides generally must take place after work, but
before dinner, I try to have some fruit or cereal or a SlimFast
*Close Your Eyes & Pretend I'm A Butterfinger OK?* Snack Bar
we head out on the ol' bike trail.
of course, I want to
snack on a couple of bugs along the way.
Then all I have to to do is
ride with my mouth open.