The Long, Bumpy Road to a Bike Ride

All I wanted was a bike, so I could go on leisurely bike rides with my children.  My sister had already passed a Co-Pilot bike seat down to me, for little lady, which I happily accepted, knowing that she is just as fastidious (read anal) about her children’s safety as I am.  All I needed was the bike.

On my birthday, I got one, a Townie Electra.

The bike looked expensive, so I hounded my husband until he told me what it cost. I thought he spent too much money, though, online, they call my model, the lower entry point for bikes. You say tomato, I say tomato.

Either way, I told him to take it back.  I know that may sound ungrateful, but I was just looking for a run of the mill cruiser from Target, not some swanky hybrid.  I’m not a serious rider and we don’t do a lot of bike riding, there are no bike paths or easily traveled roads for us to ride on.  I just wanted a comfy bike, that would allow me to keep up with my speed demon children on our rides around our small neighborhood.

He said he couldn’t take it back.

Being a serial returner of sorts, I just didn’t understand.  Can’t everything be returned?

He told me that the bike shop he bought it from would only exchange for color, and that was only if I didn’t ride it.

I still didn’t understand.  How am I supposed to know if I like something, especially a bike, if I couldn’t ride it?  And, how could my husband buy something for me that I couldn’t return?  After ten years of marriage, did he not know me at all?

I waited to ride it, unsure if I wanted to keep it (I know he said they wouldn’t take it back, but I still wasn’t buying it), unsure if I wanted to trade it in for another color.

So, it sat in our garage, like a prized antique car, protected and out of the way of pushy children and random toys.

My husband, who claims that this is why he doesn’t like to pick things out for me (he may have a point), was curious to know when I was going to make a decision, meaning did I want another color, turns out he was serious about the non-returning thing. Sensing I was disappointing him, and feeling ungrateful, I decided to make peace with my Townie and take it for a ride.

For what it cost, I had high expectations.  Sadly, they were not met.

I felt like I was stretching to reach the handlebars.  I wanted a bike on which I could sit upright.  I asked him if he would like to take it for a spin.  Before he even made it out of the driveway, the pedal fell off.  He was pissed. I thought I had hit the jackpot.  I told him to take it back.  He did, and got it fixed.  They weren’t, or he wasn’t (I’m not sure, which) taking it back.

Resigned to the fact that I was now the proud owner of an Electra Townie, I spent the better part of two hours, this morning, installing a baby seat on the back, so that we could go for our long anticipated bike ride.  It was frustrating getting the seat on, but not nearly as frustrating as realizing that it doesn’t fit properly on my bike (or I did something seriously wrong).  My ass is halfway in my daughters lap when I’m trying to ride, and she can’t even put her feet up on the foot rests, because my big honking, not that comfortable, seat (you thought I was going to say ass, again) is in the way.

Not willing to admit defeat, second son, little lady and I decided to give it a whirl, anyway.  This is how our joyous bike ride went, “Slow down!”,  (I was coasting at this point), “Are you trying to tire me out?”,  “Hey, no fair!  How come you can go faster than I can?”, and  “Are we going home, yet?”

In case you need clarification, I was not the one complaining.

Two crashes, plenty of pouting and lots of bitching later, we returned to our driveway.  I think we rode for all of ten minutes.  I got off the bike, my neck and shoulders aching and had to struggle to get little lady out.  I could barely squeeze her legs past the seat. As I’m typing this, still feeling perplexed about the whole struggle, I just realized, that when I put her in, my seat was a little higher.  I’ll remember this next time, so that I don’t have to amputate her feet in order to free her.

So, now, I’m walking around with a neck ache and sore shoulders, unsure if it’s from the handlebars, the straining it took to get little lady out of her seat, or all the stress of securing the seat on and taking the actual bike ride.

All I have to say, is be careful what you wish for, and you probably shouldn’t ask anyone else to pick out a bike for you, and the road to hell is paid with good intentions.  (Sorry, dear.)

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