July 07, 2015

Swivel, Swivel, Toil and Swivel Bike Ride

"Girl on Bike" by Bobby Mikul
Yesterday, my family and I ventured for a bike ride. It was a perfect time because the clouds blocked the sun and it was below 100 degrees Fahrenheit after weeks of scorchers and no rain. I'm in front with a bike trailer of toddlers connected to my bike. My oldest weaved in front, the side, and behind me. My husband followed behind to keep stragglers from straggling.

About a half mile into the ride, my handlebar jerks to the right side. Soon it swivels upside down and the gear shifts lower. I try to fix it while riding, but it gets worse. My oldest had zoomed a half block ahead and I called for him to stop. We all stopped and I put the handlebar to rights. I start again and it swivels faster. The gears shift even lower and I can't change it while hauling an extra 75 lbs of toddlers. My husband says not to put any weight on the handlebars--yeah right!

I stop a block later and my husband takes my bike. He manages okay with it while I'm trying to hoist myself on his bike. The seat is probably seven inches higher (our height difference). I just about fall trying to peddle forward. I moved forward some, but my pants kept getting caught in the chain. I cursed the bike after the second or third time my pants caught. I didn't know how to shift the gears either, so it was stuck on a low gear. Then the bike stopped moving forward. I hopped off to find the chain no longer on the cogs. I wanted to curse the bike again.

I walked the bike while my family was far ahead of me. I noticed new holes in my nicer blank pants. I don't need clothes anyway. My husband stopped at the corner and looked back at me walking the bike. He turned around and headed for me.

We debated about how to get the rest of the way home. I said let's walk home instead of him trying to put the chain back on. I just wanted to be home, but he refused and took several tense minutes putting the chain back on. It had twisted into the other gears, unlike the normal chain derailing. Curse that bike! Curse all our bikes! Curse my new bike! I complained it was a piece of junk (Walmart's cheapest). I switched to riding my bike.

We started again and my oldest wove in and out of my way. I yelled at him to get away because I had little control on the bike. My husband told me to calm down. Grrr! I stopped and walked the bike only blocks from home. Then my husband and I switched bikes. I coasted on his bike home, trying not to get my pants stuck.

My oldest and husband raced home. My husband was running with the bike and trailer. We made it home and I felt better but oh so annoyed! I found the hex key and my husband tightened the handlebar.

I asked my oldest if he had fun on the bike ride. He said, "Yes." Really? Glad he enjoyed it. I enjoyed a third of the time. I just feel like long bike rides are cursed for me. As some of you may know, I lost my glasses on my last long bike ride. Are my long rides cursed?