One Bad Momma Biker

Today I rode, finally. I bought a brand new bike last year to replace the one I’d had for about 20 years. The one Johnny bought me when we were first married. We both had mountain bikes and used to go out and see who could get heat stroke the quickest … I always won! Not really, but think I came close a couple of times!

Anyway, back to the bike. Nothing was wrong with the old one really. It was a pretty bike, a white Panasonic something or other with pink wire thingies sticking out from the gear shift thingies. Still worked great, with occasional hiccups, but everyone in my family has newer bikes and I got a bit green. Not the environmentally friendly kind of green, the ugly jealous green. I, too, wanted a bike with no wire thingies hanging out of the gear shifts, with a state of the art braking system, and most important of all, a cushy seat and shocks. Yes, shocks. Couldn’t believe bicycles today have shocks, but turns out shocks do make a difference when you have a scrawny butt like mine. I hit a little bump, and then feel a teensy little bounce, hit a little bump, feel a teensy bounce. It’s all good. Less bruising in the area of the unmentionables.

Yep, got a cool black & teal sexy little mountain bike, especially alluring with me perched atop it. Donning my helmet and my black diaper-like bike shorts, sexy just doesn’t describe it. I usually complete the ensemble with a white and turquoise tank with black trim, and my big fat white tennis shoes. Add to that the blinding glow from my little white legs left exposed between my diaper and my tennies, and you’ve got the picture. But you won’t see it here. For that, you will have to accompany me on my ride, and if you take a picture of me, I will chase you down on my super sexy new bike and hurt you bad …

Speaking of hurt you bad, yes my bike is a mountain bike. While we don’t have any mountains in these parts, we do have a great trail at Lake Grapevine. It’s an awesome trail with some very difficult spots. My husband rides it all the time and comes back unscathed 95% of the time, and bloody the other 5%. I’ve ridden it (well, the less difficult parts of it) about three times last fall, and still have the battle scars to prove it. It would be funny really if it weren’t so sad. Definitely an art to this mountain biking, I’ve discovered. I didn’t realize what a mental workout it is, along with the physical. Naively, I pedaled down my first easy little stretch not realizing that I wouldn’t have time to admire the scenery. The name of the game is concentration. What gear should I be in to go up that little hill, oh and damn there’s a tree, hell, I can’t turn while I’m going this fast, and oooh crap, I didn’t see that ditch, which is about the time my brand new bike ditched me. Disloyal little witch.

Each time I rode the trail I gained a little finesse, and by the third ride, I was making progress. Well, that’s not really true because I fell each time. However, by the third trip I was indeed thinking hard. I was damn sure trying to figure out what gear I should be in – a high-ish gear – and how fast to pedal going down the hill – fast but not so dang fast that I can’t still navigate a skinny curvy path and avoid trees. Then, I finally figured out that, prior to arriving at the very bottom of the hill, I already need to know what gear I should be in (not so high, and make the switch instantly) so that I am in good shape to start back up the hill. That way I can get some traction and actually make progress up the hill before I fall over sideways. Seriously, this happened to me, as if I suddenly decided to stop, and just fell over. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, I definitely would have if I had seen someone else do it. The other problem I had was not being in a high enough gear going down the hill, my feet racing around the pedals like lightning trying to make them catch, all while trying to change gears and avoid smashing into Mother Nature. Then one time I did smash into Mother Nature. I ran into a tree, but it was a very small one …

So, you see, while I have a sexy mountain bike and look sexy in my mountain biking gear, I am really not a mountain biking kind of girl. I’m more of a clear wide dirt path biking kind of girl. However, I will try this again someday soon, and don’t worry, I will never ride the trail alone. If I get on the trail, it will be with my husband so he can attend my wounds when I get them. Today I rode alone, but only in and around the neighborhood. I rode down to one of the trailheads (which is close to our neighborhood) and saw all the hardbodies getting ready to bike the trail after work. You know the type, muscle-y, bike racks on their cars, all the latest gear (even better than mine). Yep, I’m down there like I’m one of them, then I just nod my head, take a healthy swig from my water bottle, smack it back into the carrier, and turn my sexy little bike around and head off in the opposite direction. Kind of embarrassing, but even if I had the cujones to get on the trail by myself, which I can assure you I don’t, I can just imagine how PO’d the world would be at me for stopping traffic on the trail about a jillion times. Not cool.

I will ride again some day, though. Some un-busy day at the trail, just me and my husband. Him in front guiding the way, yelling back at me to warn me of the various obstacles up ahead so I can mentally prepare my physical response. Then him stopping finally because he realizes that I’m not behind him. Did I get lost? Nope. Did I crash? Yep. I don’t ride hard, though, so doubtful I’d ever hurt myself bad. Just bumps and scrapes. Bumps on my shin from banging into my bike, and scrapes when I slide down the little trees …

Wanna go biking with me? :o)


A Symphonic Encounter

An unusual Saturday.  First of all, it’s 7:15 and I’m up.  Unusual because on Saturdays I usually sleep in a little.  I have nowhere to go this early, yet I woke up at 6:45.  Unusual because my main squeeze is out-of-town and another has taken his place in my bed.  What a hussy, you’re thinking, and yes, she really is.  She’ll lay in anyone’s bed.  Scandalous, but true. 

Laying here with a pup to my left (he had the decency to stay in his own bed), and the one you see here to my right.  I’m drinking my modified coffee, and thinking about last night.  I went to the Lake Lewisville Symphony last night.  Another unusual event for me, attending a symphony, but I really did go.  That alone is probably enough to make the earth quake more than a scantily clad woman.  Is that not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?  Well, unless you go to the other end of the spectrum to Pat Robertson’s explanation for Haiti’s troubles.  How did I get so far off topic?

Guess I’m not so far off.  Last night, the symphony was a benefit for Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was tortured and killed by extremists in Pakistan in 2002.  I believe that attitudes like the above, as ridiculous as they seem, are the driving force behind such hateful and unfathomable acts such as the Daniel Pearl murder.  There are some really unbalanced people in this world, and a little trash talk is all they need to behave abominably.  Last night’s performance, sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, was an attempt to bring people together through the power of music.  To bridge the gap, close the divide, remind us that we are all brothers and sisters despite our differences.  Lofty goals, and I’d say in that room last night, it was a successful endeavor.  Trouble is, I doubt any extremists were in attendance, but still, it’s all goodness.  Daniel Pearl’s father, Judea Pearl, spoke of his son and the Foundation’s goals of freedom and equality for all.  World peace, if you will.  I wasn’t the only one whose eyes misted over. 

Oh, and the music was beautiful.  Last night was all strings and choral.  Daniel Pearl was apparently an accomplished violinist.  The last half of the concert was a piece commissioned by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and written by a composer right here in Lewisville, Texas.  Accompanying the strings were five high school choirs from our school district.  So, now we get down to the bare bones, the reason I was at the symphony.  To hear my baby boy Alex sing, along with 300 other high school kids.  Yes, my kids are responsible for my cultural education.  I can’t take any of the credit!

A few notes (♫) on attending the symphony.  As you know, I won’t go away without making fun of something.  Am I the only toe-tapper out there?  Are all symphony-goers sit up straight, don’t act like you’re enjoying it, and for God’s sake try to look intellectual types?  Am I being intolerant?  I guess I’ve been to too many rock concerts and clubs where people truly lose all semblance of social appropriateness.  In other words, they let it all hang out.   I’d like to think there’s a happy medium, and that it’s ok for me to express enjoyment if I stay keenly aware that I’m not at a U2 concert.  Which is to say, I was getting into the music.  Oh all right, not full-out chair-dancing, but you know, nodding my head in time, and light, but respectable, foot tapping.  The place was packed.  In my line of sight, I only saw one person, save the conductor (who was so animated he was practically a cartoon, in a good way!) and the musicians, that moved any body part at all …  and that was from his neck up.  My bet he was a choir parent.

I must confess, I Facebooked before, during intermission, and after the concert.  Had to brag about being at the Symphony, you know.  My phone was on silent and in my purse during the performance, so don’t get your panties in a wad.  Hey, I’ve got some class, you know.

When it was over it was obvious how much everyone had enjoyed it, in spite of their stoicism.  Lots of clapping, standing up, sitting down, standing up again, sitting down again, clapping all the while, but as you would expect, minus the hoots and hollers and whistles you would hear at a rock concert.  So, perhaps it was just a more serene, sophisticated type of enjoyment.  Yeah.  Afterwards, the lady sitting next to me asked, do you know someone performing in the choir tonight?  I guess it was obvious that I’m not a season ticket holder.  Wonder what gave that away?  Hmmm … was it my lack of symphony-esque attire (I wore a cute short-sleeved turquoise top, white pants and flats),  my Facebooking between acts, or the toe-tapping?