Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still crazy after all these years

So I had my first biking in the rain experience the other day. I also managed to have my first flat on the new bike and my first little accident. (It was a busy day.) They're all related, sad to say.

So, picture me riding down Massachusetts Avenue in rush hour traffic. It's raining, I'm in the right lane behind a metro bus, and cars are zipping past in the left lane. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason -- no red light or bus stop -- the metro bus comes to an abrupt halt. To my left, a car's side view mirror is quickly approaching my elbow. What did I do? Never hesitate: I learned that much from James Bond. (The comparisons end there, however.) I aimed for the sidewalk and hopped the curb. What I failed to account for was the angle I was coming from. So I crashed. Or, rather, the bike crashed; I hopped off as I felt it skidding down toward the concrete. Nobody on the road or the sidewalk seemed to notice (though I felt rather sheepish). I didn't have any injuries I could detect, and good old PIT seemed just fine. So I hopped back on and rode home. As accidents go, this is the best I could hope for. Not that I'm hoping for an accident, obviously, but if it's going to happen... well, it could have been much, much worse. Luckily I am signed up to attend WABA's Confident City Cycling course next weekend....

So this morning rolls around (no rides yesterday -- I spent most of the gloomy day in my pjs doing online research) and I was gathering my gear together to head to the farmers market and... PIT's front tire was completely flat! Now, if you've been following along, you know that I have now managed to patch (poorly) and change (not as poorly) a tire once before. But I'm not that fast at it yet and I hadn't yet practiced taking the tires off of the new bike. So in a panic that I might be too late to the market to procure some of the limited supply of the amazing cherry tomatoes at the Sunnyside Farms stand (I'm addicted, I tell you) I cast a frantic glance around the apartment. There against the washer-dryer leaned good old Sheldon, gazing off to the side, nonchalant.

Now, I've been trying to be very deliberate about getting comfortable on my new bicycle since I will be riding her around the country. And I'm definitely adapting to the different angle of the handlebars, the differently placed shifters, even the general feel of the road on a bike that is technically more my size. But I must say, riding Sheldon today was pure joy. The weather was perfect -- sunny, clear, around 70 degrees, with just a slight breeze. As we cruised to Dupont Circle for the market, I couldn't help but liken the feeling to that of running into a former lover or an old friend on the street after many years. It just felt so comfortable, familiar.

We made it to the market just fine and I loaded up my backpack with fresh eggs, yogurt, veggies, and other goodies. Then we headed home, returning without incident. I'm sure going to miss Sheldon, who will only be on loan for a few more short weeks. Maybe I'll run into him on the street one day, many years from now and we can reminisce....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti