Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Zoom, Wobble, Zoom

I married one maniac and gave birth to another.

After storms to the south of us, storms to the north of us, a tornado warning right over us and howling winds all around us, the sun finally peeked out around noon on Saturday.

Almost simultaneously the OC emerged from the computer room where we thought he had sequestered himself for his annual eleventh-hour assault on the tax forms, and brightly suggested a bike ride.

In spite of the lunacy of the idea, the Bean and I understand that he is unaccustomed to sunshine in the frozen north. And to opportunities this time of year to ride a bike. Forced Family Fun is a hallowed tradition in our family. The OC has always loved the idea of commandeering all his ducklings, and their mother, to ride bikes along behind him, or trot around the track with him on weekends, at the various places we've lived. Traditionally he has ignored groans of protest, assuring the ducklings that, in years to come, they'd look back on these times and this torture with fondness and gratitude. Mother Duck herself wasn't exactly wild with enthusiasm to subject her feathers to the buffetting being visited upon the trees out back....But, recent posts notwithstanding, I'm still loathe to be called a sissy. We decided to humour him....

Bikes were hauled out. Tire pressure was, with only a few "expletive deleteds", checked and adjusted. Water bottles were procured. Sunscreen was applied. Sunglasses, hats and biking gloves donned---we take our biking seriously around here! Then "into the valley of death rode the six hundred." Or, at least, into the teeth of the gale rode a party of three....

The sun was bright and the wind was gusting. The trees all around were dipping and dancing as I struggled to keep my seat. They soon left me in the dust. Zooming along like arrows from a powerful bow. But this doesn't bother me. I'm happy wobbling along at mom speed, and happy that they, for now, are happy too.

Our route provides many opportunities for extra mileage. I took advantage of none of them. For the day and the weather that was in it, it was enough that I was out! The menfolk took advantage of all of them--loops, cul-de-sacs, doing some of the side trips twice.... Which meant they zoomed by me again and again. The OC would whiz by and breezily intone "use your gears," as I zig-zagged, donkey style, up a hill. A red-blue-grey blur of Bean would zoom past, intent on either getting ahead of his father or on maintaining his lead. It always has to be competitive, which makes me y.a.w.n. I felt like an old B52 bomber plodding through the skies, while F16s broke the sound barrier all around me. Showing me up with all their tricks. Executing loop-de-loops, turning upside down, spinning, spiralling, diving, defying gravity, while the gusting winds concentrated all their efforts on trying to knock me off the bloody bike.

After back-tracking three times to retrieve my hat, which the cheeky wind repeatedly snatched off my head, I gave up, and wedged it between handlebars and brakes.

An hour after lift-off we were home. It felt so good to stop. So virtuous to have gone at all. Wind-blown, snarly hair, aged bones, creaking pleasantly, and a raging thirst for a cup of tea! The OC was well pleased with himself. Taxes done? Check. Golf with the cronies? Check. Two months of magazines and mail read? Check. Visits to the Ancient Ones? Check. Time spent with mother duck and last remaining duckling? Check. Appointment with a psychiatrist? Who? Me? Checkcheckcheck.


Postscript: I know that people everywhere are saddened by the horrible events at Virginia Tech. Me too. Seems silly to be writing such trivia as the above....but maybe we need distraction, some nonsense to smile about, when all we can think about is what kind of world we're leaving for our children.....

.

16 comments:

Stomper Girl said...

I never use my gears either! I actually enjoy standing up on the bike and working hard up the hill! But then I am not a speed freak or mechanical.

I miss bike riding. Such a lovely way to blow away the cobwebs.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love riding my bike. It's like a second chance at childhood, only this time, nobody tells me where I can't go and when to be home.

And the curative cup of tea at ride's end keeps me going on windy days.

I haven't written about the events in Virginia, either. It is somehow too ghastly to make sense of right now. There is nothing wrong with seeking reassurance in normalcy.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear molly. I love riding my bike. I used to ride to and from work every day, what a great way to start (and finish).

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I enjoyed your post very much. It was every bit a breath of fresh, refreshing and bracing blast of air. In short, I felt your exhilaration at doing this simple but wonderful thing as a family bike ride. It was indeed a welcome distraction from the world's many woes.

riseoutofme said...

Glad to see you've started the training! Had a VERY clear picture in my head of the boy racers .... smiley buzz!

Liz said...

Ahh the forced family fun. I think I look back fondly, but also with some sense of relief.

Princess Banter said...

Oooo-er, that sounds one delicious bike ride! I would love to bike too but my coordination is incredibly poor... I never understood why people would ride the stationary bike in the gym either. Why subject yourself to a tiresome destination-less effort -- when you can have the real thing!? :)

MyUtopia said...

I don't know how to properly use the gears : )

meggie said...

Once I mastered the art, I loved bike riding too.
And amen to your last comment!

Tanya Brown said...

Thank you for that new phrase, "Forced Family Fun".

Somehow, I think that there was a competition between a gale force wind and your husband, your husband would win.

Cursed Tea said...

hi
I saw you commented on "heartinsanfransisco"'s blog on the UK banning the holocaust from schools. I wanted to let you know this is FALSE. You can check the BBC and other news agencies.

I am British and am deeply disturbed that this report has been circulating - it is not true and will never be something acceptable in the UK!!!

I just wanted to set the record straight.
Thank you
Kirsty

Katie said...

I also can't figure out how to use gears properly or ride uphill. Quite frankly, I have a hard time seeing how cycling can be fun. It hurts!

Sussanah said...

I feel your pain, I married one neurotic and gave birth to another.
ps My Dad bought us all 12 speed bikes upon returning from being stationed in Malaysia in 1980something. I had that bike until university and I got a car (no need for a bike then, I wasn't going back to the dark ages!) and in that whole time I never chaged a gear, so it really was just a one speed.

nutmeg said...

One of the diva's joys of visiting her grandparents are the bike rides around a lake near their house. So she gets to ride her bike while I don't have to partake of any "forced family fun" - we are all winners here ;-)

Diana said...

The ducks and duckling image is great! Sounds like you all had a good time!

mjd said...

Indeed, maybe we need a distraction. Daddy D and I took a bike ride yesterday. Our trip was maybe a 1/2 mile. We like to work up to things. An hour is a very long bike ride.