There she sits buddy just a-gleaming in the sun*
Did I tell you I bought a bicycle on Craigslist? Yessirree! I wanted a bike, but I didn't want to go to Dick's and spend $300+ on one. If I did that and then didn't ride it, I'd feel like dung. $50 didn't seem like quite such a commitment, however. A guy on the other side of town spends the winters fixing up bikes as a hobby and then sells them when the warm weather rolls around. I called him a few weeks ago and he said he had several women's bikes in his basement, ready to ride.
I was interested, but decided I'd better take P along with me in case the innocuous bike tinkerer turned out to be a psychopath. Since the bicycles were all in his basement, I had a disturbing vision of this Boo Radley type saying, "Come right down heeeeere . . . " and then the last thing I see is the business end of a hatchet. So, we made it a family excursion and headed across town to the bike man's house.
Well, the bike man turns out to be about 5 foot nothing. And a chain smoker. When we got there, he was walking a geriatric semi-dog that was no larger than my shoe. So yeah, I could've taken this guy with my eyes shut. But, better safe than sorry, you know.
I chose a red Schwinn touring bike. It has no kickstand, but rides just fine. I've taken it out on several excursions around the 'hood and hope to hit a nearby bike trail soon. The warm weather took its own sweet time arriving this year - I turned on the heat as recently as two weeks ago. I also entered a local charity ride that takes place next month, so that should give me some motivation.
In my early 20s, I owned a red Giant racing bike. I did a lot of biking back then, and I've really missed it. There is something about cycling that really appeals to me. I don't know if it is the fact that it is a largely solo activity, or if it's the wind in my ears, or perhaps I simply enjoy the mind-clearing benefits of repetitive pedaling. When I lived in Virginia, I used to park my car in Old Town Alexandria and then hit the Mount Vernon Trail, which winds along the Potomac. I listened to my music ON CASSETTE thankyouverymuch. There were two ways I could go. If I went south towards Mount Vernon, the path was shady but hilly. If I went towards the District, the path was flatter but sunny (which would sound like a good thing unless you're like me and you once got a sunburn selling Christmas trees). I usually alternated. I liked riding to National Airport (I still have trouble calling it Reagan National) and then watching the planes for a while.
One time, I was cycling south towards Mount Vernon. I encountered a largish hill and had to stand up on the pedals in order to make it to the top. A more experienced cyclist passed me on the hill, but then turned his head back and said, "Good job, you're strong." I tell you, to this day it was one of the best compliments I ever received. I want to remember what it feels like to be strong. Oh to be 21 again, pedaling along the Potomac, with no credit card debt to speak of, no mortgage. The world is too much with me now (with apologies to Wordsworth). I gotta pedal my way back to my peace.