July 28, 2010

Bike Ride #1 - Hipness Fail!

I feel the need to include a picture in every post. So here is what happens when you try to make a cat sit on a bicycle seat:

Keene is at band practice and the kids are with their respective other-families. I decided I would ride Rusty (that's my bike, yo) around a bit. Yeah! Yeah! But where? We have a trail by our apartment. That would be pretty cool, but it would take a while. And I really should have been working on some articles. What I needed was a quick jaunt, a pick-me-up to get me motivated.

Then I envisioned a leisurely ride to Starbucks, cruising back home while sipping my chai. How fun and relaxing it would be! But then I remembered the busy road near our home. Would I have to (gulp) ride on the road? I couldn't remember if I had seen bikes on the road or sidewalk there. Quickly, I googled "Colorado law bicycle" and discovered that for a speed limit of over 35mph, you can pretty much ride on the sidewalk. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Coloradoans!)

Then I set out. I rode the bike through the living room, out the door, and onto the road. I stopped on the piece of asphalt that Keene had discovered can activate the apartment complex's gate. Success!

I pedaled to the stop sign, where the busy road lay ahead. Fortune was on my side, as the road was clear, but I hurried across anyway. Once on the sidewalk, I noticed a problem: it was very narrow and littered with sand and twigs.

As a teenager, riding on the back of my first stepdad's Harley Davidson, I once witnessed a fellow biker skid on sand and crash into a concrete barricade. Because of this, I am certain that tires cannot handle sand any better than they can handle ice. I slowed to a near crawl. I pulled into a residential street just as quickly as I could, eager to get off of the deathtrap sidewalk. Once in the neighborhood, though, it was a breeze. I pedaled happily, no longer worried about the sand throwing me into the street, into the path of the zooming car-monsters.

At this point, maybe I should disclose that it has been about 15 years since I've ridden a bicycle. In case that wasn't obvious.

Anyhow, pedaling, pedaling, pedaling. Then the hill began to rise. Pedaling, pedaaaling, pedaaaaaaaaling. I remembered Keene had mentioned cruisers weren't really meant for hills. I cursed. I hate when he's right. My thighs burned. Just as I was about to jump off the bike (the brakes are a little weak, you know) and sit on the curb and cry, I spotted Starbucks. Huzzah!

I parked the bike at the door, went inside, ordered my drink, talked with the cute barista for a while about bike-riding. She assured me that I was okay to ride on the sidewalk on this street. Duly noted, but I still planned to ride home through the neighborhood.

Drink in hand, I left and picked up my bike (which was standing upright by use of the kickstand, something Keene said is decidedly un-hip). I climbed on and immediately realized the problem: the rickety, old bike was too wobbly to safely ride one-handed, especially on sidewalks.

Well, I made the conscious decision to opt for safety over Starbucks and, as a result, rode much of the way home with bouncing, steaming hot chai dripping down my hand. (Yes, I am probably one of the few dumbasses who drinks hot tea in the summer.) Another hill, a few mini chai-explosions, a hurried crossing of the busy street, and I was nearly home.

Not bad, not bad, I assured myself. I still have some chai left to drink. My hand isn't too badly burned. I got a little exercise. And my hip-factor is rising with each rotation of the pedal.

That's when I lost all bicyclist-credibility. I approached the driveway to my apartment complex, just as a car pulled up. Clearly, the driver thought I would ride in front of her car, so she waited for me. But because I was turning before then, I wanted to let her know.

So I reached for my blinker.

My hand actually waved in the air a couple times, before I remembered that bikes don't have turn signals. Oh, uh, um. With another splatter of chai, I quickly turned, pulled up to the gate, punched in the code, and rode into my apartment. Then drank what was left of my chai.

And now it's 9:45 and I haven't even started on my articles. This is just a night of fail.

(I have posted this picture under the guise of "Ooh, see how tired this ordeal made me?" when I really just wanted to whore the cute earrings Keene just made for me.


theTsaritsa said...

Haha, this takes me back to when I used to take my cruiser out and bike home with a drink in hand. Aren't there any bike paths?

Kelli said...

There's actually a pleasant bike path around a nearby state park. However, there is not a Starbucks within the park.

Huge fail, Colorado.