I am bound and determined — bound and determined, I tell you! — to ride my bike this summer, more than I drive. I tell you this, after having driven around town all morning, in search of shorts I can wear on my bike, and then into the grocery store, the library, the post office, and my favorite restaurant, without all sorts of bike-riding-attire-induced embarrassment. Yep. Think about that one.
I’m not looking for Tour De France – style bike riding. No ma’am. I’m looking for the type of bike riding I saw in Germany, where women rode their bikes on cobblestone streets wearing high heels and flowing skirts and with fancy scarves tied around their necks. They attached cute baskets to their handlebars and glid over snowy roads with warm bread in their baskets and holding a pint of beer or a cigarette. They wore no gloves (despite the fact my cheeks were frozen in place, like little round ice cubes on either side of my nose), because they are cooler than cool while simultaneously being hotter than hot. THAT’s the kind of bike riding I’M talking about.
But I live in Nebraska. Not Germany.
In Nebraska, there are no cobblestone streets. Instead, we have these fabulous bike trails where people wear helmets and they ding their little bicycle bells and announce, “On your left!” after riding right up on your heels and scaring you into stepping to your left instead of to your right. They wear fancy shoes that clip into their fancy bike pedals and they wear fancy racing suits because biking is such serious work.
I found cute shorts. They won’t embarrass me. Or anyone else. I don’t think. And I made it home, just in time to watch the storm clouds roll in in their wuthery way, before dropping their requisite daily dose of six to twelve inches of rain. I wish I could have bought my shorts in a smaller size, and that brings me right back to the beginning of this post, where I tell you I am bound and determined to ride my bike this summer, more than I drive. Yes, I’ll reduce my carbon footprint. Yes, I’ll save on gas. Yes, I may even consider selling my vehicle. But don’t be fooled when, in future posts, I tell you how wonderful bike riding is for the environment. Oh, that’s all true and good. But I want warm bread in my basket and a fancy scarf around my neck and I want to keep my blood pressure under control. So, I’m headed to the gym, on my bike, and I will try to be gentle when saying, “On your left,” to the backs of the heads in front of me on the trail.
Unless, of course, it rains.