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Just a couple of weeks after Master got His new bicycle, I was struck with a serious case of bicycle envy.  He was having so much fun with His new bike that I found myself wishing that I could have one too.  T has a bike that she brought home from her mother's house.  When spring comes and her shoulder is healed up, she'll be able to ride right along with Him.  I was very caught up in wanting to be part of the fun...

The problem, or at least one of the problems, is that I haven't ridden for years and years -- probably not since my teens.  And, I have balance issues.  Some 20 years ago, when I lost my hearing, I also lost my balance.  I stay vertical because I learned (or re-learned) how to do it, and if I lose focus or my attention wavers for an instant, I can fall over quite convincingly.

As Master started to work at His Christmas shopping, I let it be known that I'd rather have a bike than almost anything else I could imagine...  And that is how I became the proud owner of my very own beautiful new Trek bicycle.  It is wonderful; a far different two-wheeled conveyance than the old Hercules 3-speed I rode so many years ago.  And, to my absolute delight, the balance issues that I worried about do not seem to be a problem.  I ride along just fine.

So, we've been riding on days when the weather permits it ... round and round and round here in the condominium complex.  It is relatively safe, if you don't count the possibility of being run down by a blue-haired old lady, and there are plenty of hills and curves and a wooden foot bridge that spooked me at first, but has been conquered in fine style.   Yesterday afternoon, He and I began to discuss the possibility of a ride when I got home from school.  It was cold here (in the low 30s), but clear and sunny, and we thought we could bundle up warmly and enjoy a ride.  I told Him that I was wishing we could go ride in an upscale neighborhood not far from here... see something different, do something besides ride around "the circle," and He agreed.

I came home, and He was ready to go -- all bundled up in lots and lots of layers.  I got changed, layered up, and joined Him in the garage to get the bikes out.  We took off together and headed over to the ritzy neighborhood.  We rode and rode and rode, all around all the curvy streets and cul-de-sacs with the fancy names.  It was way more challenging than I had imagined -- very hilly, but we covered the whole neighborhood, and found ourselves, once again, at the entrance to the place.  I figured that we would ride back the way we'd come, and head back to the house, but He took off the other direction, around a pond and down the hill.  He turned onto another street, and rode on ahead.  At first there was a sidewalk, but then we reached the point where the sidewalk ended -- a very Shel Silverstein moment.  There was a lot of traffic, and the road was very narrow.

Suddenly, a car passed me by, very close.  I hadn't heard it coming, and I jumped when it passed.  The front wheel of the bike fell off the edge of the pavement, and the bike wobbled wildly.  I ended up in a very undignified heap in the dirt at the side of the road.  I laid there, checking to see if anything was broken.  Nothing seemed to be, and so I untangled myself from the frame of the bike, and scrabbled up to my feet.  Master was long gone...  too far ahead to notice that I wasn't still behind Him.

I walked, pushing the bike for probably a half an hour -- headed for home.  He, when He did notice I was missing, went looking for me... But really had no idea where I was (and I hadn't taken my cell phone).  He rode all over the route we'd covered, but not back down the last part of the ride home.  Eventually, He went back to the house and got the car, and came and found me.  He loaded me and the bike up in the car and took me home.  I was shaken, but not damaged, and very glad to have been rescued.  What an adventure!

I guess the moral of the story is that being 57 years old is a lot different than being 16.  Who knew?  Anyway, I guess I am back to riding "around the circle" until I am more sure on the new bicycle.  That may take some time...



  1. Anonymous10:23 PM

    I hope you can find some middle ground between the circle and the dangerous non-sidewalk stretch. Take the car out and map out the good riding places, maybe? But the main reason I wanted to comment was the mention of 'bundling up.' If you have not participated in winter outdoor activities (skying, hunting, snowmobile etc) in the past twenty years or so, you may not be aware that long underwear were reinvented. Oh, they still sell the old cotton ones at Walmart, cheap, to those that don't know better. But check out a store like Bass Pro or Cabela's, or either online, and you'll find wonderful products made of fabrics that wick away moisture and keep you wonderfully warm, even while exercising, even after you stop, all without making you feel 'bundled up.' Is there a downside? Yes: the damn price tag. But it's worth it.

  2. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Maybe the moral of the story is to carry a cell phone. You did amazingly well for so much of the 'new' ride; don't let the last little part ruin your win!


  3. Impish15:36 PM

    Ooopsies - still worth it, though. Look at you reinventing yourself! Love that drawing - you're gorgeous when you fall down !

  4. Oh no! (and I love the drawing too). I've had the same thing happen.

    I think you are doing brilliantly. Hang in there. Like that wooden foot bridge that spooked you at first, these other roads will soon be conquered!

  5. Huge hugs & smiles... keep getting back up swan.. it's a different kind of 'control'.. *smiles*
    Your in charge of how you handle it. I agree a compromise and mapping out a way to go is the best idea! Enjoy and have tons of fun!
    Warm wishes,

  6. Joanne10:31 PM

    Hi guys,
    I have been following your blog or a long time now and praying for you all through all the upsets and trouble. I am so glad to read that life is becoming fun again and that what you all held on tight to survive has made you stronger.
    I also have hearing loss caused (they think) by a disease of the inner ear so I can fall walking across a level parking lot if I step wrong on a small rock. I don't dare get on a bike but for you, I like the suggestion made about taking the car and mapping out a safe, traffic free route to ride. In a number of Canadian towns there are pathways built specifically for bikers that run parellel to the highways.
    Also, I work at Wal-mart and we have some wonderful active wear which is light weight, warm, comes in white, black, grey and pink and doesn't cost a lot. Long sleeved tops and tights. I wear them all winter under my work clothes and they are great.


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