Sometimes I write about my bicycles inappropriately.
Me: "Hey there, sexy. It's been awhile. I know you may have thought I didn't love you any more since I've been hanging out with your fat sister so much lately. But it was actually because I didn't think you wanted me around. If we could have spent time together outside of the house, you know you'd be my first choice...
So, anyway, I was wondering? Do you want to go out today? I don't have a lot of time, but I think it would be a lot of fun!"
Her: "Sure. That would be OK, I guess. But I want you to wear those shoes I like. You know how that makes me feel."
I move stuff around, put her in the stand, change the pedals. So the shoes can make her feel right. Get protection in place, a saddlebag with tools and lights, a front light. Extra tube that I haven't been carrying, just in case I need it. You never know when a hollow rubber tube could come in handy.
Got all dressed up for the occasion, lightweight summer gloves, fancy Italian shoes with my signature wool socks. Helmet, shades, messenger bag. Shut down things in the apartment, lock the doors, start out the door and realize I should really check how firm her tires are.
And they were totally out of air. Just to let me know that she's still not 100% over the neglect. We're not going anywhere until I pump things up. It's been awhile, of course I'm not going to be able to just hop on and go. There has to be more than just protection and wearing some fancy shoes.
Have to get her ready. Have to get her pumped.
If I had time, I would have done more. Soft brushes and then a drop of lube on every link in her chain, followed by a soft rag to clean up the excess. Slow spins of her wheels, followed by hard stops on her brakes, then a gradual tightening until they were adjust just perfect. Connection of all the wires so we can get data on exactly how much fun we have...
But I didn't .
Walking out the door, she was all "You do remember how my water bottle cages catch on your jeans, right? You should put water in your bottles and put them on me. Just so that doesn't happen and, you know, in case we want to go the extra mile..."
What can I do? I was already ready to go when she made me fill the tires. That got me even more worked up. Now it's cold water and servitude. What's going on? At least, we can go out now.
I was sure she was going to be all skittish and not really into it, that with how things had gone working up to this first touch in all those months. It should be awkward. I shouldn't be used to it, and neither should she.
The instant we connected, when that click sounded and the car behind us passed... Half a pedal stroke in and it was like we'd never parted. We were flying in half a block. Can't click down on the rear derailleur fast enough. She wants to GO!!!!
Three blocks later, though... We're coming up on a light, with a car coming up behind, and one ahead in the turn position. Signal, move over, brakes...
She doesn't want to stop. She will, she's all about consent, but a light touch isn't enough to count. I'm used to her sister, where the slightest touch on the brakes will stop you dead in the tracks. And I feel safe that she'll keep us from crashing into the car ahead.
The light turns green and it's a non-issue before we get there. Just a little flick of the fingers to the left to let the car behind know we're taking the lane, and things speed up again.
It was only another 3/4 mile to lunch, taken at the speed of car traffic and with nothing but smiles. But a couple of red lights, and the knowledge on both of our parts that it was a short ride. So start/stop, start/stop, start/stop. It's fun, but not really what it should be. We haven't connected like this in a long time. It should be more.
There's a left turn ahead. Move over to the turn lane, signal, whatever.
A slow step off the pedals. We have a bit of equilibrium. I know how much power I can put out before the limit is crossed and there's no turning back. I'm not expecting anything much...
And she nips the seat of my jeans with her nose. A hole. Her sister had pretty much worn that part to nothing, but it wasn't an actual hole. Just a playful bite, enough to let me know who's in charge.
Of course, at this point, a female human on another bicycle rode up. We talked about the weather, with my butt turned away to be polite and not showing my underwear to someone I don't know. From garb and choice of steed, I'm guessing it would be a non issue, but still.. I try to be polite.
Lunch a half block away. A bit of time apart as I leave her chained up and refuel. It's 2:30, my first food of the day. Dammit, I'm not superman. I need food to give her what she wants, and also so I don't die.
But really, I can't give her more today. Other things are more important. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.
And, well, she did bite me in the ass. Really, that got me there, I wanted to go ride. Nobody would have seen it while I was riding. And it was my last pair of jeans without a hole in that region.
I had to make it to Target to get some new jeans, and the only route available was horrible. Every 20 feet was a four to six inch gap that was two inches or more deep. With a lot of larger holes that need to be navigated. And puddles that have to be taken in mostly a straight line because of all the overtaking traffic. Passable, but not fun. It's like she's slapping me in the face over and over for having the nerve to not to blow off everything and spend the afternoon with her.
Get to Target, lock up and walk in. The woman behind me as I walk through all the women's apparel is talking on the phone. "He doesn't have a car. Can you imagine? I think I'm just going to cut my losses and keep someone around to clean the bathroom and do dishes. So horrible."
I bite my tongue.
Leaving, I head up to the light where I normally cross back to the off streets in my hood, and there's a puddle at least eight inches deep and about then feet across. I sit patiently waiting, but the cross light didn't even change from green walk sign for a couple of minutes.
If she wanted, I would have gone through it. It was OK. Drench me in freezing water. Whatever.
But I knew neither of us wanted to just sit there waiting for a light. Turned and went to another exit, and there was no puddle. No traffic. Perfectly fine. WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!
Then, you know, .75 blocks later aound the corner, a school bus is blockin an SUV. I could probably get around but without knowing when either will start moving again, its not worth it. The bus driver rolled down her window, and says "Hey, how about you give me your bike and I'll give you this?"
A whole busload of kids would be worth a lot on the black market, but the steel between my legs is way more important. Told the lady that I didn't have a driver's license, and didn't want to endanger the children. It was partially true.
I think we're going to spend a lot more time together soon. There will be a lot of excitement at first, but eventually we'll settle down into a routine.
Don't tell her, but I'm already thinging of what the younger, sexier model that replaces her will be. Last year, she was all I needed. But now there are so many other optionsl. I really hope I don't lead her on too much and then just ditch her for some carbon frame. Maybe even pulling off her clothes for the new woman.
Relationships are complicated...