Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary. There were beautiful flowers, heartfelt messages and cards, and a lovely romantic dinner, reminiscent of our trip to Italy… yet how does one even begin to write meaningful post about something like this, without sounding like a smarmy greeting card? I had to leave that to my beloved partner, friend and husband – Mark. He sent me an email early this morning:
Happy Day 1 of the next 25 years!
Yes. Just ….. yes. 🙂
As we near Thanksgiving, and celebrate this personal milestone, I am reminded of how beautiful my life is, that I am well-loved by an amazing and inspiring family, and that I can think of no person I would rather continue on this journey with than my husband Mark.
A very happy Day 1.
Put a beautiful afternoon, a beautiful bicycle, and very stupid girl together and what do you get? (Yeah … can I please get a do-over?)
The good news: appears to be no fracture, which should be confirmed today by the radiologist – just a scraped knee the size of a grapefruit and a heart-breaking abrasion on my beautiful Elisabetta. (Sniff…). Fortunately limited to the front carrier – basically no other scratches on her. But still, the bike injury weighs on me more than the knee. I have been assured, however, that she can be rehabilitated (both my husband and nephew are skilled in auto restoration, bodywork).
I don’t even have a spectacular story behind this; it was just a big dose of stupid. Riding on an empty and quiet neighborhood street, no traffic, nothing around, … a moment of inattention, a slip of the front wheel off the edge of the pavement, and an over-correcting cartwheel. All at the speed of about <2 mph. Yes, I am talented. (And yes, I always wear a helmet).
And I think I heard a couple of squirrels laughing.
For today, it is no riding for StupidGirl … just ice and some couch-time with a book and FoodNetwork. But here are a few of the pictures from the beautiful day it was (pre-crash).
*Note: No small animals (or camera equipment) were harmed during this mishap. Thankfully.
Are there days when you actually shouldn’t be out riding around on a bike? I don’t know. But apparently the woman who stopped her car as I was standing along the road snapping a few pictures thought so.
“Can I give you a ride home?”
“Oh … no thank you, I’m fine. Just taking a few pictures,” I say.
“Um… well, ok.” (Looking at me sideways, apparently assessing my state of mental health).
“But thanks for asking,” I say with a smile, trying to assure her that I had a functioning brain underneath my helmet.
Maybe if she could just see the sky the way I saw it today, from the seat of my bike … would she understand?
I have some “nice” fall color biking photos from days prior … but today, while I was riding in the rain, I was thinking about friends in Portland and the Pacific Northwest. (And yes, also snowbound Minneapolis, @bikerly, @blueallez, and @myrnacgmibus). In my mind, cities like Portland, Seattle, and Amsterdam are my idea of cycling nirvana. And Minneapolis. I see the videos, the pictures, read about the bicycle culture, the rideshare, the cupcakes (big incentive), and converse with a few friends who live there in the midst of it. I am fairly convinced that I belong there.
And then I ride on a cold, grey and damp day and wonder if I really would have what it takes? I can easily do a few days here and there in crappy weather, but am I really cut out for months on end of this kind of kind of stuff? I dunno. The cupcakes I could definitely do on a daily basis. The rain riding, well … ?
For now, I ride in it … just to practice. And to pre-qualify. 😉
I love this time of year. And I don’t. The air is cool, dry and crisp … the leaves are falling … the mornings are edged with frost. And it gets dark much too early.
While the squirrels hide away nuts and acorns, I’m filled with the urge to cook and bake. Pumpkin and spice muffins, soups, squashes. Warm and fragrant comfort foods – the things I crave after being outside and riding in the cool weather.
The #330daysofbiking count: have ridden 203 of the past 223 days; 144 days remaining. Ride on. 😀
Meet Elisabetta. By now you should know that I’m not called @morebikes for nothing …
Several years ago, I became smitten with the idea of a beautiful “city bike” after seeing several cycling videos about Amsterdam, and this beautiful photo of Scott’s Jorg & Olif “Opa”. I argued with myself over the practicality: would a 3-speed or 8-speed upright city bike, no matter how stunning to look at, really be a practical bike for me to own? And I won’t even get into arguments over curbing excess, needless consumption, etc. I certainly didn’t need another bike. But – good grief – they are so beautiful, I just couldn’t help lusting after one … admittedly with some misguided mid-life-crisis fantasies of becoming a Beautiful Godzilla:
The Beautiful Godzilla is a particular kind of urban female cyclist who rides as though the rest of the world were created simply to yield to her … She also rides an old three-speed or perhaps a 10-speed or Dutch city bike, carries her handbag on the edge of her handlebars and if she has a basket it usually contains a small dog or perhaps a baguette… Her approach to cycling in a densely populated city is a combination of self-entitlement and Mr Magoo-type dumb luck…. Like any self-entitled person, she can’t imagine a car would possibly hit her, even if she’s riding against traffic and it’s coming right at her. Actually, you sort of find yourself disappointed when it doesn’t. And just like Mr Magoo would wander into a construction site and a girder would materialise right as he was about to walk off the scaffolding, the Beautiful Godzilla blithely rides through red lights and busy intersections, emerging on the other side unscathed and just as photogenic as she was when she entered it.
Why other cyclists don’t like them: They should be dead but aren’t.
~ BikeSnob NYC, The Bike Snob’s Guide to Cycling Tribes
OK, maybe not quite. Lol. But still, the yearning to have a pretty, step-through, latte-and-lunchdate Amsterdam-y Eurobike never faded – and thus, when my bike shop guy, Charles, showed me the 2011 Globe Live 3 Mixte … well, you can guess what happened. (And I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband and “sponsor”, Mark, for making this possible! 😉 )
She actually arrived literally the day before we left for Italy, so the first real test rides didn’t take place until our return. She is not only beautiful to behold, but is quite a dream ride, in that upright, city-cruising-in-a-skirt kind of way. Lighter and quicker than I expected. And did I mention – beautiful to look at? I have ridden her on a couple of 20-mile trips to and around town, and even with only 8 speeds, she handled every incline with ease. The front integrated rack will carry essentials and more with no difficulty – a loaded messenger bag, a bag of groceries, or even a Godzilla-appropriate designer handbag with miniature dog and baguette. 😉 Or my bag full of camera stuff.
A couple of the details that make her extra special:
- Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub
- belt drive (!) … (So far, I am loving it; amazingly smooth and quiet)
- front and rear dual piston hydraulic disc brakes
- very nifty two-leg foldable kickstand
As you can tell, I am very infatuated. Sometimes you just have to ride like a Beautiful Godzilla (even if you are just pretending). 😉 Call me if you want to meet up for a latte.