Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I went on a bike ride Sunday. I really should have worn some type of padding, although nothing bad happened. It's just that something bad SHOULD have happened.

I am not used to 22-speed bicycles. The last bike I remember having was one I shared with my siblings. It didn't have gears, and it didn't have brakes. We lived on a hill and the road was gravel. That didn't stop us, though. One by one, we'd head downhill, and when we needed brakes, we'd either jump off the bike or drag our shoes through the gravel until we came to a stop. Or if we were going too fast for that, we'd drive the bike into some blackberry bushes.

When we used a bike that had brakes, it was the kind where you push the pedals backwards to stop. This is how I learned to ride a bike. And you know what they say about riding a bike - you never forget.

So I headed out on my husband's 22-speed mountain bike. I was told that I needed to "get a feel for" which gears work best under various conditions. I began to shift gears at random. Sometimes I had the feeling that the bike was working well and sometimes I didn't have that feeling.

When it was time to stop, I pedaled in reverse. Nothing happened. I remembered the handlebar brake just in time. With a violent jolt, the bike came to a stop. I even jumped off the bike once instead of using the brake.

So I guess I need more practice. If you don't hear from me, assume something bad has happened.


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