It is 32 days until the big ride and so far I am not looking too good in my role as the mighty peddler of my own bike. I regret this. However, I ask you all: is it possible to implode from heat? I mean, as a woman of Scottish descent, going up the stairs rapidly can make my face red. So imagine me in spandex riding a bike in 90 degree weather. I start to look like a tomato within two blocks from home. (Feel free to thank your lucky stars that I choose not to wear red spandex on my little jaunts around the neighborhood.)
For instance, today with the least of effort my face is so red it feels as if all the temperature in my body is in my head. If I only had a valve that I could open up just to let the steam come out, you know, sort of like a pressure cooker. I would be all set, even better, if I could also add a cool-water valve. (Do people still use pressure cookers? Does anyone under the age of 30 know what a pressure cooker is?) And I know all of you over the age of 50 know a bit about our internal heat waves.
I must confess, the idea of donning my riding ensemble and putting on my special shoes and filling my water bottles did not at all appeal to me over the weekend. As I contemplated 4 more days of the same at 6 this morning while walking a reluctant dog, I began to hear an inner voice—
“Ciiiiiindddyyyy,” it said.
“What, who me?” I answered, looking into the lush wilds of my back yard.
“CCCCiiiiinnnnndddddyyyyy, don’t be a foooool. Come hydrate over heeeerrrreeee. Do EMTs everywhere a service. Stay Hooooooome.”
My gosh, it was the voice of the swimming pool in the neighbor’s back yard. AGAIN!
My four year old daughter is teaching me how to swim. She has been taking lessons over at school across the street and everyday if I am lucky I get a recap. Lesson number one: position of the arms: Chicken! Airplane! Soldier! Try it now…yes… Chicken! Airplane! Soldier! 2 times gets you across the pool. Just the thought of floating on my back, pressure-cooker-hot-head cooling, is reason enough to postpone my riding agony and angst.
I know, I know, believe me, the bike is whinnying in the barn. My trusty steed waits dutifully. Thank goodness she is not a horse or she would be dead from neglect. I had so much passion for my bike when I purchased her 11 years ago. I drove my wife crazy for a good three months with all-day excursions to various bicycle shops. The test drives, the hiss of tires, the smell of rubber, all that shiny new paint on impossibly light frames made me dizzy with anticipation.
Pre child, pre child in pre school, the bike was a huge and outrageous expense. (2 Months of all day pre school!) But nevertheless, bringing her home that day in 1999, and pushing off the driveway and sailing into the street, she rode like a dream. She was graceful and sleek, and she was strong enough to carry this load!
Remembering those days, I have decided I should give her a name. And some new tires. I’ll even spring for new break pads. I have busted out the lavender and yellow official PMC bicycle jersey top from 1999. When the heat breaks I will be donning the green, aerodynamic helmet. I have brown biking shoes. She is a very red bike. My wife has suggested that I name her Rhonda—as in “Help me, Rhonda” but I am not sure it’s a good fit, nor do I care for self deprecating humor. Does anyone have any suggestions?