What I like about bikes

I want to ride my bicycle.

I want to ride my bicycle.

I have been trying to practice riding more, although I have hit some limits. Riding two days in a row, I have learned, now leaves me saddle sore. I get a little antsy when I have to go through the intersection in Golden Gate Park where I was hit, which is unfortunately en route to almost everything, but it’s been reasonably mellow other than that. I don’t have the stamina or strength to go long distances or up hills, but hey, that’s the kind of thing electric assists were made to fix.

Now that I am riding every other day or so, I remember what I like about riding my bike. I’ve been in cars and buses a lot in the last few months, and it is isolating. Plus, even though I now have a handicapped placard, I end up having to walk a lot when we drive somewhere because the competition for handicapped parking places is ferocious. But on the bike the world returns to human scale (plus I can park by the front door). When I was coming back from grocery shopping—my current level of grocery shopping competency by bicycle involves carrying one glass jar of yogurt—two guys on the corner waved me over to ask about my bike. On my way to the office, the only other person who stopped at the red light besides me struck up a conversation. “I can’t believe I get grief about not wearing a helmet sometimes from people who run red lights,” he said. I agreed that this was pretty irritating. This nice man was in the full roadie kit; not the usual stop-at-red-lights type in my experience. I am learning not to judge hastily.

I get a lot of funny looks when I get off the bike and unfold my cane. This amuses me. In physical therapy I can do exactly zero of the exercises I’m supposed to be able to do 25 times in a row when I’m fully recovered. I am still a slow walker, and I limp, and I can’t go far on foot, but on my bike I’m almost as fast as everyone else.  On the bike no one knows I’m still crippled.

6 Comments

Filed under Brompton, commuting, injury, San Francisco

6 responses to “What I like about bikes

  1. My dad used to play tennis with a middle aged man who walked with a cane due to bone cancer. He would walk in and hook the cane in the chain link fence. My dad said it was to psych out the opponents. He had a good net game and my dad ran more than usual and they won a lot.

  2. Miles

    Your last line made me tear up. Glad to see you’re making progress.

  3. Not the same at all, but I have a bad ankle that if I’m up too long, it hurts really bad the next day and I struggle to walk on it. This started when I was 14! Biking is the one exercise that I can do without needing to wear an ankle brace the next day. It’s amazing. I hope your recovery is swift!

  4. Reblogged this on Kitesurf Bike rambling and commented:
    i like everything about bikes

  5. tedt

    It was great to see you riding on Tuesday, Dorie. You looked great, and good to see you can bring Eleanor to preschool on your own. Wow.

    I need to talk with you about electrifying my new triple for greater range in the city.

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