I Want to Ride My Bicycle!
I speed along the bike path. It’s early in the morning but there are already pedestrians blocking the path ahead. I bully old ladies out of my way and charge down dogs straying into my lane. I snarl as I pass them, all bared teeth and aggression. Can they not see that I am an athlete, a hardcore cycling machine?? I’m wearing lycra shorts to be more aerodynamic for god’s sake, AND THEY’RE RUINING MY RHYTHM!
Besides, this is only my second time wearing clippy shoes and I’m not very good at stopping just yet.
Difficulties stopping aside, my racing bike and clippy shoes are a marvel. I power up hills, sneering at the tortoises on their clunky mountain bikes or hipster single-speeds. Neener neener! My bike thumbs its metaphorical nose at them. My bike and I are one, body and metal interacting fluidly and seamlessly. This must be how Robocop feels.
I cycle past a café with racing bikes parked outside. Cyclists just like me! I want to wave and call out to my lycra-clad homies, but I have not quite mastered the skill of cycling one-handed. I settle for pinging my bell instead.
Home, nearly home!
I huff and puff as I cycle up the road to my house. Traffic light! How frustrating, I didn’t see anyone on Tour de Anywhere stopping for a red light! I roll my eyes and coast to a stop, carefully clicking my right shoe out of the pedal. A car pulls up next to me but it’s a bit too close for comfort. I turn to glare at the driver, and move to shift my bike closer to the kerb.
And promptly tip over.
I forgot to click my left shoe out too! My foot is still secured to the pedal and I’m stuck under my bicycle. I struggle to get my foot out, but just end up flopping uselessly on the side of the road. I catch sight of a small child watching me from the car, nose pressed against the window. I would flip him off, but my hands are too busy trying to unbuckle my shoe.
I finally work myself free. I am not hurt, I just have sore hands and feel really, really embarrassed. By this time, I cannot wait to reach home and hide. I get back on the bike and continue cycling home.
But I am so wobbly that when I reach another red light, I tip over again even though I have both lanes to myself.
My ride is clearly over. I try to walk the bike home but it is very difficult to walk in cycling cleats.
I make the rest of my way home in socks.