My teeth are still chattering

Yesterday, finally, after seven months of saying “I’m going to buy a bike!” I finally went out and bought one. It is purple, and beautiful, and I love it.

It is also a cheap piece of crap, because I live in the ghetto. That way, when (and not if) it gets stolen, I won’t be too upset. I did, however, splurge on a really fancy seat (which had the slightly alarming name of “pillow-top saddle”), so that way I can fool myself into thinking it is a nice bike. As I put it to Pete, it’s like putting leather seats into a Kia. It’s still a piece, but your ass will feel very comfortable regardless.

So this morning, I sprung out of bed all chipper because I RODE MY BIKE TO WORK TODAY! And I was very excited about doing it. Because I would be all environmental and exercizey and good for me!

And then I actually got on the road, and I came to the incredibly sobering realization that I have NEVER ridden a bicycle on a major road with CARS. Ever. I haven’t even owned a bike since I was, oh, 12 or so? And I lived in the woods. And though I occasionally had to deal with a tractor, or some sort of animal carcass, I wasn’t really prepared for the big time.

Y’all, that shit is scary. Do you know how big cars are? And how fast? And how loud they are? And do you know that sometimes people talk on their cellphones and don’t pay attention to the people on little, rickety bikes (who maybe couldn’t even find a helmet that fit them, so just decided to put off that purchase and are imagining at EVERY MOMENT what it is going to feel like when their head smashes on the pavement)? Well, I know.

Oh, and here’s another tip: Maybe, on your first day riding your bike on a ROAD with CARS that could very easily DESTROY you, put on something other than your very cute strappy sandals with slick bottoms that provide no traction whatsoever so that whenever you peddle, your feet aren’t sliding off the peddles. I looked like something out of a cartoon, I’m sure.

But aside from the constant, gripping fear, it was a delightful ride. It only took me about 15 minutes, and that was going slow and taking as many back roads as I could. And yes, I did almost cry when that bird looked at me, because I know he was thinking of flying towards me, and I’m still shaking a little bit, but it was totally worth it. And now! I get to look forward to riding home from work today!

(Aside to Mom: can you please come pick me up?)

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I know the feeling all too well. After a decade of being away from two wheels, my first experience with a bike — and my first-ever on a road bike — was on the friendly streets of Philadelphia. But it come back eventually after riding mostly on Locust Walk (a closed-off pedestrian street) like I’m not supposed to.

    Now, after only about a week, I only ride on the sidewalk when I’m too lazy to bike around to the one-way street going the correct direction 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sandrita on May 23, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Will your bike fit into the trunk of my car?

    Seriously, Taylor, go practice your bike-riding somewhere safe and get yourself a helmet and some shoes more appropriate for bike riding. Jeez!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Ezra on May 23, 2007 at 10:24 am

    I bought a bike last Thursday! But, I spent way too much on mine. About twice what I “allowed” Lindsey to think it cost. But, it’s got 27 speeds and disc brakes. If that isn’t necessary then I don’t know what is.

    I was thinking your ordeal didn’t sound that bad/scary — until I read about the bird. F birds.

    Reply

  4. I sometimes ride to school here. It can be nice in the sunshine, but Boston drivers are super scary. I feel your fear!

    My advice is to get a helmet, wear sneakers, and get some reflectors and mirrors. I like to use my sideview mirror to see if a car is sneaking up on me.

    Reply

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