Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Wheels

Friend-husband and I got new wheels. Bicycle wheels, that is, and nerdy helmets. We probably look weird but who cares. We are not going to rust out. We are going to keep doing stuff as long as we can. Even if some people think we’re too old. Today we did about six miles on our new bikes, and my legs felt like jelly when we got home, but hey, it’s only day three. I’m thinking that in a month six miles will seem like nothing. Besides, it is really fun. We’re not too old to have fun.

You know how they say that you never forget how to ride a bicycle. Well, I wondered. It has been a long time. I’m thinking that I haven’t been on a bike in at least 35 years, but they were right. I still know how. Bicycles have changed a lot since I last rode. I had never ridden a bike with hands brakes or gears. That was an adjustment, but scarier was the way they have redesigned the frames.

I am only five feet tall, and it’s hard to find small bikes, unless you’re a kid. Kid bikes, they say, are not made to hold the weight of an adult. (They tried to say it nicely, but I knew what they meanat.) After shopping around, we found a small womens (adult) bike, but my legs are really short and getting on and off was a bit challenging. I could do it, if I tipped the bike as I pulled my leg over. This could work, I thought.

The salesman was servicing the bike of my dreams, when I saw something called a comfort bike. Comfort bike? That got my attention. Handlebars with a slight curve to them, designed to put less of a strain on wrists and shoulders. Springs under the slightly wider seat, designed to cushion your tush. And (drum roll, please) wonder of wonders, the frame had that old-fashioned low curve. I can step on and off without tipping the bike sideways. This, quite possibly, was the bike I had known in the pre-existence.

About the seat. It’s still not really comfortable, but I noticed that you can buy padded seat covers. I’m positively checking those out. The comfort bike is what I like. I'm all about comfort.

Writing has changed a lot in those same thirty five years. Not the craft, I suppose, but the tools and the competitiveness. I long ago traded in my typewriter for a computer. I do most of my submissions on line. I know that my writing has to be cleaner and crisper than ever to make it in today’s market. Ebooks are shaking things up. Today’s authors have to be their own publicists.

I’m not too old to ride a bike, and I’m not too old to learn new tricks. I can ride every day, and I can write every day. I can exercise my legs and I can exercise my creative muscles. Some things you never forget.

Linda Garner

I'm still best friends with my ragged old paperback thesaurus. Maybe everything doesn’t have to change.


Theresa Milstein said...

Good for you for getting a bike. I didn't take as long of a break as you. Mine was about 12 years. I've been loving it. I took a bike ride yesterday. I agree, you need a comfy seat.

Dawn said...

yay! I love my bike. I bought one for $200 at Canadian Tire and two years ago took it on a 1,000 km adventure. Wishing you many adventures and much inspiration with your new bikes!

Jackee said...

I need to get a bike too. My knees are begging it of me.

And I've upgraded my thesaurus, but I don't think I'll get tired of my other reference books! (Nor my biking partner.)

:o) Cheers!

L.T. Elliot said...

Fun stuff! I love bike-riding and I should dust mine off and get out there more.

Keep writing, Linda!

Brandon said...

Yeah, being ones own publicist isn't as fun as writing either!