Monday, August 14, 2006
bicycles, canoe races, and silver pie servers
As I sit at my desk I can see my month-old bike peeking over the top of the steps leading up the back entrance, my red helmet dangling from the blue frame. I'm terribly fond of it, albeit sans beflowered basket. All concerned parties--besides myself--agreed a basket would interfere with the cables; said "concerned parties" (all male) suggested practical things like a flat rack above the back wheel or (duh) a backpack. Sigh. I can't see flowers behind me when I'm riding.* Nonetheless it has a very cushy seat, plenty of space for a skirt to fall, and a relatively light frame. And it's a pretty shade of cornflower-blue.
It's a comfort bike, and it rides like a dream.
I like it so much that I insisted upon riding it in a race even when offered a super-speedy racing bike instead. I stubbornly chose to stick with my comfortable, cornflower-blue bicycle--despite the fact that one can't go too fast while pedaling upright. But I wasn't that set on winning the race anyway, especially if to do so meant behaving unnecessarily out-of-character.
Now I admit this race happened in a dream. (Which only goes to show that this bike of mine is truly a dream bike). And I hadn't been training for a bike race, but a canoe race. Why bikes replaced canoes is the business of the subconscious; I, nonetheless, had spent my dream preparing to compete a la paddles not spinning wheels.
And that is a story of its own, and worth recounting here. My dear friend (known to my readers as Charlie Brown) and I were training for a canoe race, he at the bow and I at the stern. We showed up for practice with paddles in hand, ready to set out on the water. Charlie Brown came prepared with a proper canoe paddle; I showed up with a pie server. Yes, a pretty silver pie-server covered in intricate engravings--just the thing for propelling one across a lake. Charlie Brown looked kindly at my utensil and said with a smile, "Well, we'll do our best with what we have."
I wonder: was I just hoping for pie instead of athletic exertion?
* Despite my annoyance at the lack of value males may place on beflowered bike baskets, I want to make it clear that Latifolious was indespensible in the process of finding my bike. In fact, he did most the work.