I guess the first question is why it’s not about the bike but about the seat?
Easy answer. Have you been on a bicycle seat lately? I mean, were they always so small and have they always had spikes? Is it natural for a 52 year old woman to get on a bike with a seat that narrow? Don’t even get me started about the outfits. I was thinking about all of this on my first ride to work. I was also thinking: did I hit my head? I mean, I had done this before, but that was, let me think, eleven years ago. YIKES!
I knew it was going to be hard when I took that first ride on my boys’ bike, the same one I rode in 99. First, I disturbed the sleeping bats by taking it off its hooks in the barn. I took it down the driveway for its first bath in eleven years. Free of guano and mice poop and dust bunnies, I filled the tires. Gleaming in the sun I placed my left foot on the left pedal—one always mounts a horse from the left—then pushing off on the right, I swung that leg over the seat in a balletic kick, and there in lies my first foible: I am now lacking lift in what once was an easy arabesque kick. Let’s just say I didn’t make my mount but instead chose to ride the bicycle around in little circles like I was riding a big scooter. It is a very fast bike, after all, with razor thin tires. When I recalled that there were breaks on the handle bars I garnered enough sense to stop. I quickly looked around to see if anyone saw me. They did. They had all pulled up lawn chairs for my launch, and were sitting their laughing. Wife, small daughter, neighbors, and the dog who turned her head out of pure embarrassment for me. Tick tick tick, went the bike as I pushed it back to the high point of the driveway for a remount. Equestrian rule number 1: always get back up on a horse that throws you. My bike and I just needed to re-bond. Okay, I said to myself, nervous about my fan base, who were watching. Twenty years ago when I lived year round in Provincetown I was one with my bicycle—bikes were part of our everyday lives. One never forgets to ride, right? I tried my mount again, pushed off from the high point of the driveway, swung that leg over and went sailing down the driveway into the street. I was off on my first ride. I started slow that day—I didn’t want to overdo it. I took a lap around the block and finished up training for the day.