Ok, to all of you Facebook stalkers (like myself), who saw the picture of my fabulous new bike? Yes, that’s right, I, Jenna Stewart, am the proud new owner of my very own road-bike. Well, maybe not a road-bike…more like a cruiser… ok, ok, it’s a bike for old ladies and/or children, which makes it perfect for me and I love it.
For any bike enthusiasts out there, it is an older model Bridgestone. To me, it’s a “pretty, blue bike,” with a sweet basket on the front for my work bag, shopping bag, or anything else I may accumulate while cruising around town. Yes, that’s right, I’ll be cruising.
I have been wanting a bike for a while now and this past weekend Pat brought me to Old Spokes Home (OSH) on North Winooski Avenue and I found this fantastic little gem! It was love at first sight, well, love at first sight after looking at the $800 new bike, but still, it’s perfect.
The kind staff at OSH let me take this beauty out for a test-spin and that’s when it all got real! I guess I didn’t really think through the whole riding the bike thing. First, I had to wear a helmet. I am a firm believer in bike safety, but this was not a new, still in the wrapping and in a box helmet. This was a used, probably worn by hundreds of strangers helmet. I stood with the helmet in hand for a few seconds, while Pat and the salesman stared at me. Finally, with a deep breath, I put it on. Yes, Jenna=1, OCD=0.
Now for the riding part. For any of you who know me well, I’m not the most graceful person. Ok, let’s be real, I’m actually a complete klutz. I trip on my own shoes, drop things constantly, stub my toe at least a dozen times a week, basically, I’m an accident waiting to happen. So even though all signs pointed to me hitting a groove in the sidewalk and going over the handlebars, I surprised Pat and myself by completing a quick test ride around the block. Success.
Afterwards, Pat looked at it and gave his approval on the overall quality of the bike and we were good to go. Sold (thanks, Love)!! So, Pat hooked me up with the sweet basket and of course my own, brand new helmet and we were on our merry way. I may have to go back for the “I love my bike” horn, it was tempting, but I didn’t want to be too impulsive.
Once we got outside, it hit me. This bike was not going to fit in Pat’s Subaru. I looked at him and he looked at me and I finally asked, “uh, how are we getting this home?” Blonde moment, maybe. Pat just shook his head and said, ” You wanted the bike, you’re riding it home.” Scary. I wanted to practice on sidewalks a little more before throwing myself into the brutal, one-lane traffic of Burlington.
However, he was right, I wanted this bike. So off I went. The first thing I thought about while riding was how nice it was not to have to stare at the ground the entire time, looking for possible dangers that I might be at risk of stepping on. You know, face-up band aids, needles…etc. It was actually very freeing, wonderful really. Wonderful that is until the bike lane ended and I was now at risk of causing a 5 car-pile up if I didn’t pay very close attention to hugging the curb and obeying all traffic laws. Sigh. Always something.
On a positive note, I no longer need to constantly worry about hitting pedestrians or bikers with my car (refer back to my old blog post, Diagnosis: The Doubting Disease). Being killed by a car, yes (knock on wood a thousand times), but being the driver of a hit-and-run, nope, not a chance. Fabulous! Jenna=2, OCD=0.
Obviously, I made it home in one piece. Phew. My next big obstacle will be riding my bike up all of the steep hills from work to our house. I tried once yesterday and had to lay down. Rough, really, not a pretty sight.
So, if you ever see a girl on a pretty blue bike, black helmet, with a kick-ass basket, wobbling around the streets/sidewalks of Burlington, give her plenty of room, not just for her safety, but your own.