For my amusement, and for exercise to offset those hours at the easel, I have a Fenix road bike. It is said that anyone can become a cyclist merely by declaring that they are one! Turn pedals. Don’t hit anything or fall off. I have done a few solo practice runs, and have a moderate idea how to shift among 21 Shimano gears. So I thought I’d take a look at the local cycling club. They meet on Tuesday evenings and since I was teaching my small art group, I really had to really hustle… I checked my tires put on padded knickers and my helmet, not really a good look on me, and headed off. I had no time to change my painting shirt but I had a couple of water bottles in a small backpack, turned on my blinky back light and hustled up to the Shop.
I labored up the hill, in a hurry to get there by 6.30. A dozen lean riders looking as if they just stepped out of the Tour de France, in their tight clingy superhero triathlon skinsuits with cool logos plastered all over, thought I didn’t look like much! I circled around grabbing a breath but by the time I am back on the road they are a blur in the distance. By the time I reached the top of the hill, they are out of site. That was it. No chance.
A real cyclist came up just a couple of minutes behind me. This was his second tryout with the group. He thought tonight there were no C riders (beginners) because the route was very hilly, if I’d checked the website I would know that. Only the A and B riders like the challenge. He noticed my inferior pedals, and didn’tcare for my gear shifters, but he stayed around for a few miles and some tough hills, then I turned back. I knew he was hanging around in case of an incidents and it had already been a workout.
The moment he was out of sight I made some radical move with the controls and my chain jumped the gear wheel. I pulled onto the grass, and persuaded it back but ended up with black greasy fingers. I didn’t want the oil on my nice white handlebars. I reached home, run out of battery on my flashy red light…out of water….hot.
I think I need a little more practice.