I am guess posting today for Adam Dustus at One Stop Poetry. This is quite an honor for me. Please drop by for a visit. http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/2010/09/dustus-friday-guest-spotlight.html
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy
Operation Get in Shape for Utah is well and rolling. Saturday, we trekked ten miles. I decided my hiking boots were a pair of hussies that didn’t like me. They are actually really nice leather Vasque hiking boots. So what’s not to like? There is a hard molded rubber cup over the toe area, and the boots are heavy. I was sort of breaking them in, but they really just weren’t as comfortable as any other shoe I’ve ever worn. Dirt Man bought me another pair of hiking boots. These are Merrell Gore-Tex and fit fabulously. They instantly felt like they were already broken in! They are a bit hotter than the other pair but so much more comfortable.
Before I tell you about our bike rides, you must know that I am a total bike-gear nincompoop! My knowledge of biking is pedaling and hand brakes…that’s it. I would be perfectly content without gears, however braking with your feet is a hard concept to remember after not doing it for years. (When we were at Tangier Island, the rentals did not have gears or hand brakes.) A while back when I started riding my bike after it having sat in the garage for years, I thought it was a five speed. I was talking with Dirt Man on the phone that evening as I was pulling it out and mentioned the gears. He informed me that no it was a ten speed. I argued that it wasn’t. He asked me to count the toothed wheels on both tires for him…heck, I didn’t even know BOTH tires had them! Ends up, I have an eighteen speed bike. Problem is that I don’t have any idea how to use those gears. I mean I actually do know how to change gears; I just have no idea what gear I am putting it in!
So anyway, Sunday we went out for a bike ride. We ended up doing about ten miles. However, there was a gear devil stuck in my wheel! And you ask what is that? It’s some indivisible little dude that kept popping my bike out of gear. Yes, it just kept randomly shifting without my doing a thing but pedaling my feet. I had somehow, and I haven’t the slightest idea how, managed to pull a spoke out of the back wheel and bent my wheel. Dirt Man wasn’t sure he’d be able to fix it. He said I’d probably have to get a new bike. I was totally bummed. Even though I just have a cheap bike that I have no idea how to change the gears correctly on, I still love my bike!
Monday, Dirt Man took my bike apart and fixed it. I was so happy. While he worked on it, I took Wylie on a two mile walk to try out my hiking boots. After I got back, we went on an eleven mile bike ride. The weather was perfect. Dirt Man led and kept asking me if I was ready to get down on it. I was going down as hard as my legs would pedal, and I was not keeping up with him. Finally he directed me with my gears by saying left up or down or right up or down and I was able to keep up. You’d think after doing that, I’d figure it all out! Actually, I do know when and which way to shift now, but I still have no idea what gear I am in! He rode beside me once and made sure I was in the gear I should be in, and we both went for the burn. I gave it absolutely all I had, so I felt like I really got something out of that ride. When we got back , I slid my jellied legs to the ground as I pulled that bike seat out of my butt (a gel seat doesn’t feel any better rammed up your butt than a cardboard foam cushioned one!) while he showed off that he still had stamina. He had to drive a bit farther and then do a wheelie in the drive way.
Through the biking and hiking, I feel like my stamina is definitely increasing. My body is no longer sore after each excursion. Each time, I am feeling like I can take it a little farther and at a higher speed. The main thing is that I’m making progress.
Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein