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I'm ten years old and riding my Raleigh

 
 
George
 
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2011 02:54 pm
I rode my bike to Harvard Square today. It's about eight and a half miles
though Medford and Somerville. If you're real careful you'll only have
one or two brushes with death.

I ride my bike for fun, not exercise. Riding for exercise is too much like
work and you end up wearing tight stretchy clothes with lots of logos
and writing on it. Mine is not a body that calls out for spandex.

Somewhere past the studied funkiness of Davis Square, I started thinking
about my first bike. It was a Raleigh with three -- count'em, three --
speeds you changed with a thumb clicker. State-of-the-art for the mid
Fifties. My Dad brought it back from Europe with him. He was a career
soldier, divorced from my Mom, and showed up on rare occasions. This
was one of the better occasions. He was sober.

I was ten and it was my first bike. I thoroughly embarrassed myself
and provided my friends with great entertainment as I set out to
learn how to ride it. And learn I did. The Raleigh was liberation.
I could just get on it and go. And go. And go. I was amazed to find
out how close some places were that I had thought were only
accessible by a long smelly subway ride or dependence on the whims
of car-owning grown-ups. The world -- or a subset thereof -- was mine.

That's a bit like how I felt today.
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2011 02:59 pm
@George,
Nice!

I just got a new bike and I know just what you mean. I do love bike-riding, not bent-over-the-handlebars-get-there-as-fast-as-you-can bike-riding, but wheeee bikeriding. I love going down slight hills, gathering speed, hair flying (um, as it would if I weren't wearing a helmet, but I always wear a helmet, coff). (I know, I know.) (I do usually.)
George
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2011 03:03 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
. . . I love going down slight hills, gathering speed, hair flying (um, as it
would if I weren't wearing a helmet, but I always wear a helmet, coff).
(I know, I know.) (I do usually.)

Ah, yes. Hair flying. Memories -- faint memories, but pleasant.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Aug, 2011 03:18 pm
@sozobe,
Ya know, with one major wreck and countless mostly embarassing falls, I have yet to hit my head. Padded gloves are nice, though. In case you reflexively use your hand to break the fall, they prevent serious road rash, and maybe a broken collar bone.

I suppose if I were playing in traffic, I would use a helmet, but the wind noise from the straps is ferocious.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2011 02:34 pm
I ride my bike for fun, not exercise. Riding for exercise is too much like
work and you end up wearing tight stretchy clothes with lots of logos
and writing on it. Mine is not a body that calls out for spandex.


I spoke too soon.

A team of 15 of us from the Widget Factory are doing the Soldier Ride
for the Wounded Warrior program. Wild Bill, our organizer, announced
with his usual enthusiasm that he was getting us "real cycling jerseys"
this year, not just cotton t-shirts. He distributed them today and my
worst fears were realized. The shirts are purple with red trim. They
have the company name across the chest and down the sides. The
event name and date are on the back. One sleeve has "ISR Systems"
(the name of our division) on it and the other has an American flag.

Yikes.

I'm going to sneak it into the house. A few weeks ago, I pointed out
a group of guys in cycling gear and said to Nigel, "If you ever see me
in a shirt like that, slap me." The Ride starts early in the morning so
there's little chance of Nigel (not a morning person) seeing me. I am
bringing a change of shirts with me.

Note: I am wearing normal shorts.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2011 02:54 pm
I greatly enjoyed that George, thank you.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2011 03:13 pm
I have a problem with two wheels. I like two wheels so much better than four that I have multiple bicycles and motorcycles.

I have bicycles for cruising. I have bicycles for commuting. I have bicycles for touring. I have bicycles for dirt. To some extent the same goes for motorcycles.

Two wheels is kind of like flying. With two wheels you do not turn to steer, you lean to steer. It's steering on a camber that gives you the freedom of motion that is nothing like four wheels, nothing like three wheels, nothing like anything other than flying. And a bicycle has no cage to interfere with you being in the wind, or the rain or the snow.

Riding a bicycle or a motorcycle is so much more than riding in a car. It is a freedom that cannot be described to anyone who has never ridden in anything that doesn't have a cage suspended above four wheels.

Rap

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Aug, 2011 05:15 pm
@George,
Go Fancy-Shirt George!

I'm still loving having a bike. Went on a longish ride yesterday, worked up some speed, so fun.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  4  
Reply Sun 28 Aug, 2011 09:44 am
Ol' Mama Nature kept the wind and rain from us long enough to do the
Soldier Ride. It was fun. Wild Bill was everywhere, talking with the
organizers, thanking the team members, schmoozing with other groups,
gathering the team on the Old North Bridge for a group picture. We
looked like Attack of the Killer Grapes.

I did the 23-mile loop. It went through some very nice countryside, not
too many hills. The Middlesex County Sheriff's Office provided
motorcycle support. They led us out at the start and stationed
themselves at every turn to keep us on track and control traffic.

Toward the end, I was taking every opportunity to stand on the pedals.
"The Boys" needed a bit of air. I finished in 1:39. I actually did the
23 miles at a faster pace than I usually do 7 or 8. That's what peer
pressure will do for you.

I went to bed early last night and rose late this morning. Contrary to
my expectations, I am walking normally.
0 Replies
 
 

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