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» Sunday, May 18, 2008What Has Four Wheels and Wobbles?
Two bicycles ridden by people who have been "on hiatus" for several years.
I kept seeing bicycles yesterday. People on them. Bikes on the back of cars, in the beds of trucks, on racks.
I woke up this morning thinking "I want to go to WalMart and buy a bike."
Astute observers will probably remind me "Linda, you have a bike." Yes, I do. I bought it in 1996, after we purchased the house. (There was no room to keep it in the apartment.) I rode it about half a dozen times, mostly to get air in the tires, and then pretty much quit. There was so much traffic in the neighborhood there was no safe place to ride and there were always mosquitoes out because we were fifty feet from a creek, plus every time I wanted to ride, I had to go into the backyard, which I hated, through a gate that never worked properly, and into the shed, which was full of spiders.
The bike itself is still brand-new and is reasonably clean, especially now that it was rinsed off with the hose last year, but it needs a good lube and new tires. So over the winter I asked around at bike shops for this work to be done. The average price I got was $125! I only paid $99 for the bike!
I said to James, "I'm going to say something stupid. I want to go to WalMart and buy a bike. But today's the last day it's going to be nice; tomorrow it will be eighty and sunny and it will be horrible again."
But we went anyway. Something's got to give here. I picked out the retro 7-speed Schwinn (a lady who was trying to pick out a starter bike for her tiny little boy said, "Oh, that's cute, like a PT Cruiser," and James grinned and said, "She has one of those, too"), and he got just a generic 21-speed guys' bike. We brought them home, did the rest of our shopping, then came home to fix them. Seats are always placed too high for me, and for some reason they angle them up so the front of the seat is like the horn on a Western saddle. James fixed that, and he also adjusted his rear brakes and lowered the "horn" on his seat, but raised the seat itself. However, he is going to have to buy a metric hex set to fix the handlebars on my bike; they angle upward and I feel like a bird flapping.
Stupid. I felt really stupid on the first ride-around. I was scared. Me, who used to ride five miles a night after supper the whole summer of 1983, zipping in and out of the streets probably at about 12 mph. Made me mad. By the fourth ride around the street I was a little more comfortable, but the handlebars really have to be lowered. I don't feel balanced with them at that angle.
The big thing is going to figure out when to use them. If James got home at a reasonable hour, we could go out biking after dinner. But the earliest he can get home is seven; usually by the time we get done eating it's almost eight o'clock. By that time we're both exhausted.
Not to mention that I still can't tolerate the damn sun, which came out while we were out fixing the brakes and things. I came in absolutely sick to my stomach for at least an hour.