Why My Bicycle is Embarrassed of Me
I have a hardy Diamond Back 18 speed mountain bike that is a fine piece of cycling engineering, but it’s embarrassed to be seen with me. Why, you may ask?
I live right near a popular bike path, so I don’t have the option of not being seen. The other riders on the path look like Lance Armstrong without the juice. I wear cargo shorts, not your sleek tight spandex bike shorts which everyone else seems to prefer. And if you saw me on my bike, I think you would be happy I’m on it. My floppy, loose shirt amazingly enough does not have a single logo on it, except for the faded Bud Light on the front. My shoes don’t click or clack; they don’t make any sound as they are old ragged Tennis shoes; and for a helmet I wear a baseball cap turned backwards. I look like a homeless guy with a nice bike in the suburbs, and my bike is truly embarrassed.
If you think I’m tired of getting passed by everyone on the path, you can imagine how my bike feels. It’s bad enough when old women and young children pass me on the paved path, but when a pack of horse-back riders sauntered past me on the trail the other day, I swear my bike let out a sigh.
Not only am I the only one who stops halfway up the big hill near the house, I believe I’m the only one who has a smoke break, too. You wouldn’t believe the looks I get; I can only imagine their comments, since they are flying by way too fast to hear.
I love riding the single track trails, but I think my bike is embarrassed when I have to walk down some of them. It’s a given I’m not making it up some of the hills, but the coming down part should be easy. I’m not sure where these other riders got their practice in, but I’m not steady enough to ride straight down a rock face at full speed; heck, I can barely walk it down.
This explains my breaks. It is one thing when the peloton passes me on the paved paths, they do have street bikes worth thousands while I’m on my trusty mountain bike, but I do get tired easily these days. I’m older than most of the riders, except for that one lady yesterday, and my bike was built for power, not speed. Of course, you have to put power in to get power out…so should I say my bike was built for taking breaks?
I think the worst thing for my bike is when I have to clean the cobwebs off. It is one thing for it to sit all winter but there’s no excuse when you have cobwebs on your bike in August. That was the case last year, but I’ve already broken her out and she has begrudgingly propelled me along, although throwing the chain off halfway home yesterday may have been telling me something. I try not to take the flat tires personally, but I am starting to wonder…
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