Left behind in the world of bicycles
When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, whenwork becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, justmount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, withoutthought on anything but the ride you are taking. –Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
That’s a nice quote from Sir Doyle, but it’s baloney.
I recently “inherited” a bicycle. A friend sold her house andwas getting rid of some things, so I took a bicycle off herhands.
Seemed like a good idea at the time.
As a youngster, my bicycle was my pride and joy. I must havespent hours upon hours riding up and down the road in front of ourhouse or the streets of Duck Hill.
Today, I might just as well have the space shuttle parked undermy carport.
Bicycles have advanced. My ability to operate mechanical thingshas not.
This bicycle’s got all kinds of gears that I know nothing about.I never learned to drive a standard shift automobile, and now itseems I can say the same about this two-wheeled mode oftransportation.
There are a few things I have learned from this piece ofmachinery:
* Be careful with those front-wheel hand brakes. Grip that thingtoo tightly at the wrong time and you’ll go flying over thehandlebars. (Ahh, not that it’s actually happened to me … butI’ve heard about it.)
* Bicycle seats aren’t what they used to be. Once big andcushiony, I would now equate sitting on one with straddling andsitting on a two-by-four. The results? Well, let’s just say I wrotethis column while standing up.
* My rear end is much, much more than it used to be, but thatdoes not help with the aforementioned seat problem and, I suspect,just makes it worse.
* My knees aren’t what they used to be, either. Like the Tin Manfrom “The Wizard of Oz,” I need help — maybe somebody to followclosely with a can of oil, lots of Ben Gay and aspirin.
I am serious about biking, though, so I contacted another friend– a bicycle “expert.” This friend once worked at a bike shop,which led to him making an investment in an expensive bicycle,which led to a broken collarbone.
Anyway, the expert checked out the bike and pronounced it fit toride.
“Should I wear a helmet?” I asked.
And knee pads.
Elbow pads wouldn’t hurt, and neither would gloves.
And don’t forget to take your cell phone in case you need tocall somebody.
Gee, maybe what I really need are training wheels.
Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.