Cars make me fat and nervous. Riding a bike makes me resourceful and strong.

I have to write about this bike thing, even though in the process I’m going to have to admit to all manner of idiotic shit, in spite of which I am … inordinately lucky, and most of that comes from a happy accident of demography; you see, at my age bicycle accidents are (on average) among the freakish least statistically likely to cause my demise, and I have to tell you I do not particularly recommend anything I ever tell you I did, if there is something I do recommend I will surely make that more than painfully obvious.

But about this bike thing. It’s been a good bit of years (as far as obsessions of mine go) and shows no sign of abating, none at all. It keeps getting better, weirdly. We’ll see, won’t we?

Well anyway. It started some three years-ish ago. There’s blogging of it, but meh. I almost want to delete it to start this story over, because it is a much better story told from a little distance. So I’m sorry if you’ve heard this already, I promise this version has far better flow. Shall we?

It started when my car got repossessed, which led to a regrettable time of me mooching off my friends’ cars until it was time for me to stop, so abruptly I did. Abruptly. With no aforethought whatsoever. Bam. It started on the rustiest of old pieces of shit that ever put stains in porch paint, when I decided I would bike-commute, dammit, and I got on and promptly fell directly back off, having forgotten my son is close to a foot taller than I am, and also that I was fat, clumsy, and could barely make it up a flight of stairs only months earlier. No matter how bad of an idea it was, it started.

I rode that thing the first day all the way to the East End, 9 fucking miles though I didn’t even attempt Seaward Hill, I simply walked until the land got flat enough for me to roll across it with what strength I had. I had to stop several times, and walk. The odd .05% grade would do me under. Near the end of the ride, as I approached the gate at the end of the street, an elderly chihuahua came waddling furiously down the street after me, its sparse yellow fangs glistening in the dappled midsummer sunlight, and I in the lowest possible chainring, breathing like a teakettle and freaking right the fuck out, thought oh god this is how it ends this is just so fucking undignified.

But I outrode that short, fat, decrepit house pet, and I got to the lawn and I laid down needing the ground more than I’d ever needed a thing. Fuck. About 15 minutes later I dragged myself inside, through the shower and scrubbed with Dr. Bonner’s minty hemp wonder soap and *nobody thought I could do it*. I surprised the fuck out of them all. I no longer surprise them, but I suppose that’s my own fault. Heh.

Well. I never captured that feeble beast on camera, the second day I rode it I had gotten a front-wheel-removing ride home the night before, and no one would help me figure out the problem so I rode it. With the brakes on. For miles. Then I stopped in front of a car dealership where there were guys in blue shirts standing around chatting out in the warm morning air, and I stopped the bike on the sidewalk where they could see and started intently inspecting various things I had no idea what, and they came over and helped as best they could with absolutely zero knowledge of bicycles (as they admitted and I now realize was very, very true) they got the brakes partially released so that I could ride the rest of the way in a relatively less fatal amount of pain. I’m ashamed these were my coping skills and shit has surely changed since, but that evening I borrowed a car again, this time it wasn’t my dearest love the red Mini which I was a little bit in love with, it was the sturdy toyota so I could go buy a bike. My friends put up with a lot of my shit, I tell you what.

So the deep blue Schwinn was a pretty damn decent bike for $250, well not excellent for that amount of money but I believe it represented the best choice I could have evaluated at the time.

So I continued to bike commute 18 miles a day, 6 days a week, in ugly-ass fat girl clothes. I lost weight rapidly but starting from where I did, it took a few months; then my family left me, my dog got sick, and I got run over by an SUV.

owie

. I was living alone on my own for the first time in my entire fifty one years, ever. I didn’t exactly hit the ground thriving. For awhile the neighbors thought someone was here, hurting me. No, that was just me, exercising my demons.

This installment of the whole story goes in all the categories, except the ones I have no idea what I was even thinking with. Fuck this blog/whatever is old. No I won’t delete (any more) embarrassing early attempts at whatever this is. No I will not. I stand by my lameness.

No one’s reading this anyway. Not for a long time. Years and eras, really. Except BFG. I dread the day one of us never makes it back here to say hi. Either way it’ll suck, man. You’ve been there all along. Much respect, and infinite gratitude.

This isn’t even for posterity. Shit if I don’t pay this blog bill this disappears first.

So I’ll leave this one at the crash (more or less) and come back to it momentarily.

That was then, this is now:

bicycle, bicycle

13 thoughts on “Cars make me fat and nervous. Riding a bike makes me resourceful and strong.

  1. You know I always thought you were like 30 or 40 something, you looked and sounded so beautifull, now evewn more so and I would really love to meet you some day in some random non SUV hitting bike kind of way.

    And sorry Ive been absent for a while, I’m currently looking for a mind that used to inhabit my skull, well at least I thought it did but I forget. You see the day before xmas I was operated on for the third time on my sinuses, and was sent home on xmas day. All good so far? not really, I did not know where I was or my name, and sat by a roundabout for 2 hours thinking about the hot sun and buzzing bugs.

    9 months later I’m being treated for ‘depression’, and early onset dimenture how ever thats shitzs spelt. Any who, I forgot like everything, and after some months for drugs I remember you and my first time reading your old blog. So sorry for delay but I’m still trying to find my mind, as it escaped during the operation due to low blood pressure and loss of blood and such like.

    Don’t feel sorry for me though cause really I just don’t care about much these days. you however a the smartest most brilliant Dot Lizard I ever heard of, and In my blank spaces of forgetfullness a beacon of what is beauty.

    Be Well and smile, cause you never know that random stranger might just have my mind, cause I don’t.

    BFG

  2. And OMG I looked at the other pictures, there I am rabbiting on about my issues…I’m sure you will heal and I have to say, you have most lovely hair. I wish I was closer to you cause I would do anything for you, of all the people in the universe, you are outstanding.

    Please accept a hug and more hugs when ever you need one.

    I’m sending you my heart.

  3. I made a rainbow cake, as its my birthday tomorrow, and I need a rainbow…

    I’ll eat a piece in your name.

  4. Well, a Liz post. I thought you’d given up blogging for whatever you elected to do in it’s place.

    Well, welcome back. It’s been a long time, too long. But there’s lots of water under the bridge and life changes all around. It certainly has for me as well.

    Anyway, I hope you’re healing up. The spill looks like a nasty one. My Older Son has been hit by cars/busses/trucks/whatever numerous times on skateboard or bike in Denver. It always sucks.

    Best…

  5. In every life there are a few connections people make that are beyond the ordinary, you my dear are one of those for me.

  6. Oh the accident was years ago. I haven’t crashed since, I keep meaning to write the rest of the story, but I’ve just been either goofing off on reddit or trying to fix my life or riding my bike or working.

    And now I’m doing this thing 1,250km in December. Which is like, an extra 300km over what I have been doing. Stupid cycling. Everybody speaks metric all the time, I’m trying to do it but it’s so hard to convert my thoughts, I’d much rather just convert the numbers so they fit my thoughts.

    I finally started to Strava all this riding around. Got a heart rate monitor and everything. Imma embed a widget on the blog that shows the miles and things.

    On my upcoming birthday I’ll cross a 10-year age bracket in the rankings on Strava. The weird thing is, it doesn’t really improve my rankings much, and it wouldn’t even if I was crossing into the *next* bracket, old people on bicycles rock. This is totally how I want to get old.

    I’m sorry if I’ve gone off the deep end and become one of those people who won’t shut up about a fitness-related topic. I know it can be very grating. But you know when I go off on a thing, I go all the way off. I really want to keep this one going, and it’s one of those things where I might possibly be able to it seems, I have been doing this three years now. I’ve lost 75 pounds and gained 16 of it back and lost back 11 of those and a bunch of it was muscle. A bunch. Well, some. Booty, mostly. I didn’t gain the weight to “bulk”, I gained it because my bike lost it. I went from like a 45 pound bike to a 19 pound bike and suddenly I couldn’t out-ride my fork anymore!

    So I had to go further.

    Aaaaaand I’m going to babble about it from time to time and let’s see if putting an imgur album link in an img tag works: [edit: nevermind, I’ll embed the album in the post] If not I’ll likely edit this accordingly. It’s just pictures of the bikes, there is a kind of … balance about them, and they are both so delightful to ride. I literally started going on 34+ mile, erm, 54km rides on the weekends. I’m pretty boring so I’ll probably just do two laps to Ojai instead of the one, I’m working on my bike handling skills, balance, and confidence. For awhile I was kind of wobbly. Like I forgot how to start off, and omg it was so embarrassing but I just played it off and kept trying, I lack acceptable alternatives. But what a relief being able to stop again without that creeping dread!

    I am drinking 5.9% alcohol Not Your Father’s Root Beer beer, eating homemade maple bacon cookies (just a couple, they are so intensely sweet they knock my crazy sugar addiction out for like 12 hours. It’s almost a medicinal level of sweet. And bacon. I wish I could put them in a replicator and give everyone a link to download some. They are really that good.

    If I stay really healthy maybe I can make it to the part we can upload ourselves instead of die. That’s kind of my goal. I have a lot of thoughts about that, and they’re probably completely incoherent and I need to get lots of sleep.

    But how are things with you? I know so little of what your everyday life is like, all I mostly know is that whenever you reach out, it connects. Sometimes I worry though. You know.

    Sleep is important though. Yes. Sleep.

  7. My Everyday life? Gee um well I like um, hmm.
    I walk to work, about 1.5Km and no sorry I forget how many miles or blocks that is cause we don’t have square blocks or miles anymore since like 1967 when I was 10. I have a 2 bedroom house in a small town, in the Dairy country, my section/plot is 2200 sq m or about just over 1/4 Acre I think. I let my lawn grow clover and buttercup, for the bees, and in the gardens we have bee feeding plants too. My wife is a potter, and pottery teacher, I’m also one of those who prefer his wife does not work as such but does work in the community which she has done wondrously ever since we were married 36 years ago.
    I have suffered from the after effects of sinus surgery, and the sinus issues themselves for some 10 years, this has made me rather miserable and possibly cranky But I’d never agree to that. Last 24 of Dec I had the last surgery and my brain was affected due to low blood pressures and blood loss. So I’m taking ever stronger MEDS to try to get my MoJo back along with my memory.
    Today I’m relatively average, probably redundant saying but its relative to my other issues I guess.
    I work at a local business that manufactures Petrol Pumps/ gas pumps and
    electronics and other machines for other companies. My Job is to repair any faulty electronics and look after the machinery.
    More in another message. If you want to know more that is.

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