Monday, May 11, 2015

Another old adage bites the dust

You know that old saying to the effect of there are some things that once you've learned them, you never forget? Like riding a bicycle?

It's not true. I had a birthday this month and dropped not so subtle hints to the older grandson that the perfect gift for me would be a bicycle, something very retro with balloon tires, the type of bike that is popular with geezers who do a fair amount of RV-ing because that type of bike is perfect for cruising around campgrounds. We saw a lot of retro bikes, including ones with coaster brakes, at Montauk and other campgrounds, and I'd been suffering from a mild case of bicycle envy. I sold my last bicycle, a cheap mountain bike, at the yard sale we held when we moved to Atlanta. I had absolutely no desire to ever ride a bicycle in Atlanta. Omaha has a some nice bike paths; so far as I knew Atlanta had smog and killer traffic. So the bike got sold.

I did think a few times about replacing it. After I retired and we moved back to the tundra I would occasionally eyeball the used bicycles at the St. Vincent de Paul store in L'Anse. But until we camped at Montauk, it was more of a whim than anything else. Then the grandson made it clear he wanted to spend a lot more money on me than one usually spends on a gift for one's grandmother. After I walked him through doing his taxes on-line he apparently decided he wanted to do something relatively lavish. He was talking about buying me a new computer, either a laptop or a desktop. I really don't need a new computer. Granted, my PC died this winter and I do have days when I miss it, but I don't need a replacement. The S.O. and I have sufficiently different bio-rhythms (I'm a morning person, he definitely is not) that sharing one laptop isn't an issue. In fact, it's been kind of nice not having the PC -- I'm not wasting as much time as I used playing mindless games or wandering around the Intertubes reading stuff that ends up just annoying me. I also really didn't want him spending quite that much money. So I said a new bike would be nice.

Behold, my  new wheels. It is a really cool bike. Among other things, it has leather grips on the handle bars. (Yes, I am easily distracted by shiny objects.) It may inspire some serious bike envy in other little old ladies at campgrounds. There's only one problem. I discovered yesterday that the old adage lies. It is indeed possible to forget how to ride a bicycle. I took it for a test spin to check the seat height and discovered just what a terrifying experience it can be to go wobbling down the street with no training wheels. I kept thinking, well, this is going to be humiliating when I topple over and fracture my skull in front of the grandkids. I survived, but it wasn't pretty. No doubt a few runs to our mailbox (it's half a mile from the house) and back will cure the wobbling, but for sure it was not what I was expecting. After all, it had only been 8 years since I last peddled my ass anywhere; you'd think there'd be some muscle memory left. Apparently not.

The S.O. did discover that the minimum wage peon at Kmart did not do the world's greatest job of assembling the thing. He's going to make adjustments later today. We also discovered it's rather tricky getting it secured on our bike rack, so we're going to see if we can track down an adapter of some sort to make that task a little easier.

A slight digression: back when I was a little barracuda, one of my father's favorite jokes (and one that drove my mother crazy) was "Confucius say 'Girl who ride bicycle peddle ass all over town.'" When I was in grade school, of course, I thought she was annoyed because the joke wasn't funny. I have no idea how old I was before it hit me that it was a double entendre.

1 comment:

  1. Nice bike!
    Tanya wants a bike so I will get her one. I haven't ridden one for 30 years; since some guy yelled, "Hey, fat man, get off the street". I thought it good advice.


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