Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just Like Riding a Bike

This weekend, the bf completed a paint job for the local Brigantine bicycle shop owners. He decided that he wanted his payment in bicycles in lieu of a check - one for me and one for him. Owning bicycles has been a long-time dream of the bf's, so I was happy to see him finally getting what he wanted. Fortified by a hearty breakfast from Hot Bagels and More, we walked over to the bike shop to embark upon our test rides. I really didn't know where to start - it'd been years since I'd been on a bike. I finally opted for a bare bones cruiser in a seafoamy shade called aloe; the bf went for something black featuring gears. After the owner made some adjustments to our respective choices, we were off. Sort of. I was afraid, stopping and starting and looking at the ground, haunted by visions of my early bicycle riding days. For starters, I'd ridden my little sister's bike with training wheels far longer than was appropriate. Then, my dad took on the troublesome task of teaching me to ride a two-wheeler. That poor man. I was fear-stricken, stubborn, and hopelessly uncoordinated, all qualities that foreshadowed my even more upsetting driving lessons. One time, I almost got hit by a car. My dad and I were riding out of our safe little development and turning onto the road that lead to the pike. A car was coming, and I couldn't stop. So my dad knocked me and my lilac and black Huffy over to get me out of the way. He still tells that story. So, thinking of all this, I was having a difficult time. What's more, the shop owner's wife and a few other people were watching me, chorusing, "Don't look at the ground! Look straight ahead!" I was seven all over again - minus the helmet. The bf had stopped, of course, and was looking back at me. He said it would be okay. Willing it to be true, I put my feet back on the pedals and pushed forward. At first I was still shaky, but then that wore off and I - wonder of wonders - began to enjoy myself. We rode around the block, then returned to try something new. The bf suggested I try something with gears and breaks, so I jumped on a more advanced yet still aloey model. We were off again, and let me tell you - breaks make a difference. I don't know what I was thinking, setting off on my maiden voyage without them. Before I knew it I was pedalling away, happily singing the Foo Fighters' "Wheels" in my head. But the fun didn't stop there. Oh, no. The bf and I took two more trips, one on matching brown-hued 1970s looking 23-speeds (the matching, I swear, was completely unintentional.). Nevertheless, I ended up taking the second light green one with the breaks, and the bf took the black one, also with gears and breaks. Both also sport bells, but thankfully no streamers or baskets. And now we are bicycle owners. All I can say is, those pedestrians better look out come spring. Just kidding (I hope).

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