Wednesday, April 7, 2010

fat-bottomed girls, they'll be riding today...

[This is a long one. I'm tired, so I'm rambly. Also, I'm half-present. Blame the Stuff You Should Know podcasts. I'm addicted.]

Today's One Minute Writer: Are you "spoiled" in any way?

When I was young, I lived in one of those neighborhoods where there were often kids playing outside (until the streetlights came on and we all had to go home). This could have been a boon, except I've always been almost painfully insecure and my insecurity is agitated when I'm in a group, especially if it's composed of people I don't know incredibly well. When it came time for me to learn to ride a bike, I was both excited and anxious. I was a somewhat terrible bike-riding learner. My coordination is pathetic, which leads to my balance being off. So, I didn't have any sort of natural aptitude for riding my bike. Add in that I was learning out on the street with plenty of other kids (most likely including my little sister, who is all sorts of coordinated) riding their bikes around me, and the experience was not a fun one for me.

Shortly before Pic was conceived, Cardo and I bought bikes. We thought we'd ride a lot or something. We never did. I got pregnant and all-day-sickness besieged me for three months. And, my bike was too large anyhow. I'm just short enough that I couldn't find a bike small enough for me. I'm like this with big purchases: if I feel I'm forced to buy something, if I feel I need to make a decision, I just get whatever happens to be in front of me whether it is fitting or not. Fortunately, I don't feel this pressure often. Most of the time time, I just assure Cardo that I don't need whatever the item is, he shakes his head, and we leave.

Cardo and I were already in the habit of walking and we continued with that during my pregnancy and after Pic was born. (And, in case you haven't noticed, we still love us some walking.) We never really picked up biking again, although we both had brand new bikes (which we bought at K-Mart, so they weren't expensive, but they also aren't anything spectacular). I despise seeing these bikes sitting around. They represent both a failure on our part and a waste of money. Regardless...I just bought another bike.

When we were thinking about selling my car, I was thinking to get a bike I'd actually like to ride and then I'd ride that instead of driving so many places. So, I decided over a year ago to buy another bike. I finally got one last week. We were driving by a yardsale and saw my new bike. It cost us sixty dollars and I can actually touch the ground (barely) when my feet aren't on the pedals. I am determined to make use of this bicycle. I know that I probably won't use it as a major source of transportation, at least not now. I'm somewhat terrified of riding a bike on the side of busy roads, even when there's a bike lane provided. For now, I'll stick with walking, the bus, and riding in/borrowing Cardo's car. (I'm not totally giving up hope that one day, bike riding will be a much larger part of daily transportation. For now, though, we're just going to be riding for fun.)

Here's my new bike:

On the back was a little plastic license plate that said, "SPOILED." I pretty quickly removed that. No, I'm certainly not lacking in anything I need or even want, really, but I felt the tag was immature and not something I wanted to proudly display. (I was raised believing we should work for what we have, that we should earn it. "Spoiled" to me means being given anything I might ever think I want just because. I think Cardo might like to treat me to more than I allow him sometimes, but, no thanks, I'll pass. "Spoiled" also brings to mind whining. I really try not to least not about stuff I want.)

So, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), when I saw the One Minute Writer topic*, I had to trot out my new bike for display in this here blog space. Yes, I'm spoiled, I suppose. I'll admit that here.

I am happy to say, though, that we took our bikes out earlier this evening for a ride. I was definitely wobbly. I really feel that I should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk (technically, I'm learning here). I'm hoping confidence will come with practice. We rode for an hour (!), although at a very, very slow pace. I was sure I'd last about ten minutes. I'm looking forward to lots and lots of bike riding and walking as the days grow longer.

If you're out there riding too: Happy trails to you!


*I'm not sure why the "spoiled" in the topic is in quotes. I'm not spoiled as in rotting. That could be another possible, albeit disgusting reading, no?


"Queen - Bicycle Race"


Finally, and P.S. Something to make you go, "Wha...?" I found that interesting tidbit on The Green Daily.