Family & Friends,
“You never forget how to ride a bike” and Portland is the nirvana of bike-a-topia. My car alternator recently died. Unfortunately, my Miata’s malady coincided with my 8:00 am oral surgery. The guys were gone at 7am for work, but they left their bikes.
Five miles on a bike, what could possibly go wrong? For starters, I couldn’t get on the bike. My hip replacement doesn’t do well at leg lifts and men’s bikes have this stupid cross bar. So I laid the bike down and stepped over when no one was watching. The best way to describe my effort at riding in a straight line was “Serpentine”. I was afraid of crashing so I stayed on the sidewalk. Then Sunday school guilt attacked my conscience. I was illegal! No helmet. Not riding on the road bike path. Not riding with the look of sobriety.
Policemen appeared out of thin air. I quickly walked my bike which is legal without a helmet. Two blocks from the dentist, I noticed the skull of a large animal mounted on the front of a Stark St. house. My eyes had to look and the bike followed them onto the lawn and then almost into a nosedive. Finally, I arrived, but had no bike lock. I crammed the bike between a large bush and the building while a dental worker pretended that she was not laughing at me.
The dental work took two hours. The doctor warned me to avoid getting my heart rate up for three days. Mine was gaining velocity just thinking about the ride back. I rode very slowly, but the decreased speed, actually increased the serpentine tendency. Finally, a downhill section on Burnside Road sent me effortlessly flying. I reversed my leg motion to apply the brakes. No brakes! They now put brakes on the handlebars. Who could have guessed?
I arrived home with a numb mouth, elevated heart rate and a smug pride that once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget.