ANOTHER IDEA GONE SOUTH
“You could ride to work and I could ride to Ariana’s.” Think how exhilarating that would be, and all the gas we will save.” I was rewarded with a blank stare laced with a tinge of horror. Definitely the wrong tactic.
A few days later I came up with the ultimate argument. “Honey we need to do more fun things together. If we got bikes we could ride. We could even go on bike holidays. How fun! Packing tents and food. Camping—just the two of us.”
OK, I got carried away with that one. Ricks idea of camping is a five star hotel. Pairing sleeping in a tent, with sweat, pain, and work was not an alluring argument. It was time for the direct approach.
“Rick, we are going to buy bikes today.”
We chose comfort bikes. Rick wanted the bike with the biggest seat in the store. “Don’t you have any bigger ones than this?” he asked.
“Honey, do you want to look like you are sitting on a flying saucer? Any bigger and you’d scratch the paint off of cars as they drove by.”
A basket was a must have for my bike. I planned on riding it everywhere—grocery shopping, garage sales, hauling plants, and anything else I could dream up. “Don’t you have any bigger baskets?” Rick asked as he gave me the ‘why don’t you just hook up a grocery cart to the front tire’ look. I settled on a small basket on the front and a bigger one on the back.
The next day we took our first ride. We decided on a little six mile jaunt, three miles each way. At the end of the first three miles was a moderate hill. It would help us get in shape for all the riding we planned on doing.
Rick led the way. I followed. So much for camaraderie. We tried to talk, but even screaming we couldn’t hear each other. The first time I tried to make a hand signal for a turn I almost fell off my bike. Rick was so far ahead that I could have died for all he would have known.
I had another brush with death trying to ride up that hill. My heart was pounding out of my chest so hard that I had to ignore the fact that my legs felt like telephone poles stuffed with lead.
The worst part ride was the last eighth of a mile. We live on a gravel road. It is all up hill, and after we conquer that, our driveway is even steeper. Not only did we have to drag ourselves up the slope, but we had to push our bikes. I wanted to pitch a tent, spend the night and make the rest of the trip next week.
Honey,” I panted. “Next time let’s load our bikes in the truck, drive down the hill, park the truck, then unload the bikes and go for a ride. Then we can load them back into the truck when we are done and drive up this stupid hill.”
My husband picked this moment to suddenly become little Mary Sunshine. “Oh Honey, we’ll be riding up this hill in no time.”
Our bikes are parked in our sun room. I spend most of the time I am home in the kitchen, looking out at that bike. Rick has ridden his to work and for exercise—almost every day. I stare at mine and curse my big mouth.