Bicycle Race

“Bicycle bicycle bicycle, I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like” Queen

Like an invariably parched horse, I took a huge leap in establishing myself as a true Washingtonian. Washingtonians journey around the metropolis we call DMV in three ways: by foot, by metro, or by bike. They have the distinct ability to make even the most haggard of commutes seem ecofriendly and urbane with their nonchalance as they wait solemnly at bus stops, train platforms, and commuter locations with their chic iPods and thought-provoking novels on politics and prose. Traveling in style: their slick sneakers that make running a breeze, in versatile clothes that combat the ever-changing climate, and with a haughty magazine-esq glamour; would under normal circumstance, cause my proletarian nose to turn-up in distaste at their faux-bourgeois grandeur. I pass by them with a little wave as my 12-year old clunker soars by, inevitably clogging the ozone layer. There LBOW goes frittering from place to place, driving mile after mile at gusty speeds.

I took the unalterable step toward a biped life, sadly shelving my quadruped memories for a healthier, greener, albeit less safe means of transportation.

Like any good nerd I did my research. I decided that I wanted a cruiser. Being from California, I’m used to seeing this beauts clog up the boardwalk as women with free-flowing hair sail across ashen pavements in sundresses that capture the salt water with every swoosh of the pedals. I located 7 bike shops in my area that boasted rave reviews on service, selection, and sales. I wanted the best because I’m worth it.

Well the best not only turned out to be nigh $300, but it was also impractical for the hilly, cobbled, and uneven asphalt that we call city-streets. “Best to get one with gears or else it will simply sit on your porch and collect dust”. *ponders*, *sighs*, *responds*: “Sir, I simply want something stable and easy to use; that won’t cause me to hunch over; that won’t go faster than my mental capacity to screech the brakes; on which I can place a little brown pannier to run my errands. Might your fine establishment sell something that spectacular?” The flabbergasted expert says “Honey, if you want to get anywhere in this city you need at least three gears.” He then shakes his head and mutters something conspicuously close to “well why get a bike at all if you aren’t going to ride it on the trails… wasteful”.

Even more, $300 is nowhere near a viable option for my meager and easily depleted bank account. So I settled for the wonder that is CraigslistDMV.  Fortunately, the Fates smiled on me the day of my search. Miraculously, I was able to find a cruiser-hybrid with 8 gears that this lovely woman wanted to sell from disuse. Eagerly I responded to her ad, in hopes of providing a loving and welcome home to such a dear bike.

Note my hallowed conquest:

Notice I’ve already purchased a charming helmet and bike lock that match the auspicious coloring of the darling bike. Can you imagine how smashing I’ll look as I course down the road in a summer saunter, beseeching the world to gander at my magnificence?

Now I need to learn to ride it. ((blushes)).

I must say I approach the task with extreme hesitance. The one time I hopped on such a two-wheeled contraption, I ended up with my face introduced to freshly deposited garbage in an industrial sized dumpster. Even worse, I somehow twisted the spokes of the wheel so that they inserted into my left calf; though faded, I still bear the imprint.

I belive in numerology, the number 11 signifies teaching… granted I could be wrong, but it makes sense that this year I feel empowered to learn all of the things I “missed” initially. The self-instruction to the mastery of all things bicycle-related is just the beginning.

I’ve heard a few chuckles, and even more gasps of shock, at my inability to ride a bike. Have you ever noticed that many people compare “re-learning” something to riding a bike. “It’s just like riding a bike, you never forget”. I always agree that it’s hard to forget something you never learned… Yes many things are like riding a bike.

But I’m ready to check this monumental occasion off of my bucket-list. I hope to treat this experience like John Wayne: bravely, with confidence and self-assurance, calmly, and with flair.

In the words of such a courageous cowboy: “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway”.

Yippee-Ki Yay, Mes Chers!


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