Monday, May 4, 2009

The Bike Exchange

I have my bike!

It's here. It's in the garage. It's ready for riding.

As mentioned before, HBO blog reader and commenter "Arpie" offered to give me a bike after I revealed that I did not actually own one. We came up with having me get the bike from his wife Julie on the morning of Bloomsday (our local mega-race, for anyone unfamiliar with Spokane).

A friend of mine (I'll call him "Duane") and his truck got recruited from Idaho to transport the bike from the Spokane Valley Mall to my house on the lower South Hill.

And at right about 8 a.m. yesterday morning, we manifested The Exchange.

Here is Julie and her daughter Jenna, holding me up on the bike. Yikes! "Duane" took the photo. (Then I took him to breakfast, and we talked politics, and we both survived. Quite a feat!)

Here's the thing I'd forgotten. I'm not much of a bike rider. Which is kind of weird, because I'm otherwise pretty athletic and coordinated. But I'm not very good with bikes.

Probably it goes back to men. (Yes, it's always good to blame an entire gender when no other explanation is readily available.) But wait, hear me out. My first bad adult experience riding bikes occurred back in 1981, when my boyfriend at the time got angry with me (we were bike riding) because I got off my bike on a steep hill and walked it up the hill. I did that because he had gotten so slow in front of me that I figured he was having trouble and if he was having trouble, what luck was I going to have going up the hill? (Turned out, he had slowed down to let me catch up to him, not because of the hill.) He was really mad at me. He refused to go bike riding with me after that.

Then fast forward to the late 1990s. The guy I was dating wanted to go bike riding. I flashed back to 1981 and told him it might not be a good idea. He might get mad, I said. He assured me he wouldn't. So we took out the bikes. He lent me a bike that had these weird fangled things on the pedals that looked like foot traps. I flipped the pedals over so I wouldn't get my feet stuck. He saw what I was doing and chided me. Hey, those are stirrups for your feet, he said. "You're supposed to put your feet in them." I didn't think that was such a good idea. "They look like foottraps to me," I said. He insisted. I complied - and immediately toppled over. See, I was unsteady on the bike. I needed my right foot to keep from falling. But it was too busy being trapped in some sort of Venus flytrap deal. So I fell. At least he didn't get mad at me - he felt bad, actually. But then the rest of the day he kept commenting on how slow I was going. And we never went bike riding again.

So you can see why I'm a little uncertain of myself now, given that those are the two experiences I've had, riding a bike as an adult. I don't think I've ridden any other times. But now, I have to compliment the opposite gender. Arpie got the bike all ready, and Duane helped me get the seat adjusted to the right height. So maybe we've turned a corner here (so to speak). And you know what? It was so great, going up and down the street on the bike, no matter how shaky I felt.

This is going to be fun!


Anonymous said...

I hope you got rid of the boyfriend after the ride ;O)

Beth Bollinger said...

Unfortunately, I hung onto each of them just a little longer than I should have, probably. :)

Kat212 said...

Nice bike, Does it have gears or is it a "fixie" ? Either way it looks good.. Invest in a helmet though just in case ( im on a cursade to get people to wear helmets its not going well though) But have fun with your new bike :) Great blog too btw

Beth Bollinger said...

It has gears. Completely the right level for me. I did get a helmet. And here's a preview - I think I'm taking out the bike (and new helmet) tomorrow! Hey everyone - check out Kat's new bike blog - out of Ireland -