I worked in the store yesterday. It was Saturday and I did my Saturday chores, plus a couple more. But I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about bicycles.
OK! Ivy insists that I write about yarn and the store, so let’s get that out of the way. Elaine and I were driving to YOUR DAILY FIBER, our families yarn store, when we came upon what appeared to be some kind of bicycle race. (That should do it, Ivy.)
I’m guessing there was a couple hundred people on bikes riding down the road doing their best to make me late to open the store. (The police were helping the bicyclists slow me down.) Actually, it is more important that Elaine not be late. She was teaching a class, I was going to take out the trash. (Hey, I’m talking about the store again, Bonus!)
There were all kinds of people and all types of bikes. There were even people racing those bikes that you lay down on your back and your bike is about a foot tall. If you have one of those bike, you fly a flag on your bike so the other bicyclists can seen you and not run over you. (Me? I would would just use a regular bike that everyone can see.)
There was even a guy pedaling his bike with his arms. He was going great and ahead of quite a few people. If I could offer everyone some advice; If you can’t beat the guy pedaling with his arms maybe you should race motorcycles. Just saying!
I found a way around the race and Elaine and I arrived at work on time, thinking about bicycles.
I have been riding a bicycle for about, well, a long time. I still ride a bike with the twins when we want some cheap entertainment. For me, I think bike riding has changed more than anything in my lifetime. Yes, even more than phones.
As a kid, my friends and I rode our bikes everywhere, We rode to town, to school, to baseball practice and to the reservoir west of town. Bikes were how we got around. I guess we could have asked our parents to take us places, but they just would have said, “No, that’s why you have a bike.”
Did I mention we had school buses back then? Yep. we used them for field trips. The kids that lived out in the sticks rode to school in busses, everyone else rode bikes.
The first difference in biking when I was young and biking now is that there is an extra hundred thousand people in my old neighborhood now. Did I say a hundred thousand? I meant a hundred and ten thousand people. Some of those extra people ride bikes also.
As a community, we have planned and adjusted for those additional bikes. We have made special lanes and paths to ride bikes on. We didn’t have special lanes when I was a kid. We didn’t need them. When we encountered a car, we just got over in the dirt and let the car go by. We knew if the car hit us it was not going to be a good thing. It was easier to ride in the dirt, off the road than explain to our parents why we got run over by a car.
Now we have special lanes for bicyclists. It would be great if they stayed in them.
When I was a kid, I didn’t have a bike riding uniform. My friends and I would just wear what we had on. We didn’t wear a special tight shirt. I am interested in those shirts, though. Some of those shirts have more writings on them than the front fender of a NASCAR race car. Do those bike people really have all those sponsors?
That was the part that I think where bikes have changed more than phones. A uniform is not need to use a smart phone.
Truthfully, I have a shirt with writing on it also. It says, “Champions get up even when they can’t!” I discuss the shirt with my kids. They hate when they see me wearing it. The shirt is not skin tight, but come to think of it, it gets tighter every year. Hmmm, I wonder what’s that about. I don’t put that shirt on every time I ride my bike, but maybe I should.
I had a one speed bike when I was a kid. Now I have twenty-one speed on my bike. I only use one speed when I ride, but I have twenty other ones just in case.
I mentioned my friends and I rode to the reservoir when we were kids. The reservoir was in the foothills west of town. I think some people had multispeed bikes back then but not any of my friends.
My friends and I rode up those hills on are one speeds just to be able to fly back down the other side. When we got tired we stay for a while and played games on our smart phones under a tree. (OK, I just lied! We didn’t have smart phones back then. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)
I think the biggest difference in the biking of my youth and now is bicycle seat. When I wa a kid we had nice big comfortable seats. Now bike seats are tiny, uncomfortable; barely seats at all. Science realized that was a problem and created shorts for bike riders with padding built into the shorts. OK, I may not be a genius, but did we just create a problem just to fix a problem?
Well, I need to go now. I need to get some things done if the twins and I are going to ride our bikes tonight.
Our crazy lives!