Saturday, September 18, 2004

Baby Weight. Yeah, that's it.

I've been clinging to the excuse, admittedly, longer than necessary. While technically, my current excess poundage was gained in the course of a pregnancy, said pregnancy was three years ago. I had a pretty good excuse for a while. You know those gals who lose 20 pounds a day by nursing? I'm not one of them. In fact, I didn't lose an ounce while nursing, no matter how little I ate or how many times I paced the floor each day, soothing my fussy infant. I weaned Maya at about 15 months, though, so even that excuse has fallen by the wayside. So I need to step up my efforts. I've lost a few pounds here and there in the last few months. My challenge to myself, during the next 5 weeks, is this: eat sensibly and make a solid effort to exercise each day. I want to see how many pounds I can safely lose in that time. No weird gritty faux food shakes. No fancy carb counting or points watching. Just old fashioned food pryamid and common sense. Maybe when I'm done I'll write a book about it and make millions as the next diet genius.

As part of my quest, I bought a new bike. I have a fine bike already. It's in the barn, where it currently is cobwebbed to the side of an old dresser. My reasons for buying a new bike were twofold. One - My old bike has skinny tires made for city streets, and out here there's not a paved road for miles. Two - Gaylon is gone and you know damn well I'm not touching those cobwebs on my own.

So the new bike is way cool. It has 21 gears. I actually don't know what that means, or how to use the many gears, but isn't it cool? It has fat tires that should handle the gravel roads near our house. It's red and shiny. My nephews think it's a sweet ride. They thought I was ultra-cool for buying such an amazing sports machine. That is, until they saw me ride it. You know the old saying "it's like riding a bicycle," that people use to describe something that you just don't forget? That saying is hooey. Lies!

My new bike made its debut on the railroad trail in town. My nephews and I got all set to go, them on their elementary schooler sized bikes, and me on "Big Red." Maya and her cousin, Lizzie, were in a trailer behind me. Maybe that had something to do with the mayhem that ensued, I don't know. We took off. I was a bit wobbly at the start, but did OK for the first few feet. Then it started.

My hyperactive nephews, fresh from a day spent sitting in their classrooms, were ready to blow off steam, which they did by pedaling furiously along the trail, criss-crossing in front of me in a serpentine fashion. I was trying to pedal and decide how to change gears and watch the boys and not pull the girls in their trailer over a curb, etc. The first incident took place as Timmy, the younger of the boys, made a classic mistake, Trying to imitate older brother Ian, Timmy attempted to spin his bike pedals backwards. Problem: Timmy's bike has pedal brakes. As he came to a screeching halt in front of me, my life flashed before my eyes. The good news is that Timmy thinks my bike is ever so much cooler now that he can tell his friends he's been run over by it. Apparently, it didn't hurt, because while I was stopped in the middle of the trail hyperventilating and wondering how I would explain to my sister-in-law that the lazy afternoon bike ride turned into a bloodbath, Timmy was off again on his bike, his maniacal laughter echoing off the trees.

I was spurred into action again by two small voices from the trailer behind me. Lizzie's contribution was this: Aunt Heather, it's naughty to run over my brother. Maya's: Mommy, GOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Go faster. No stopping!

I took off once again, slightly relieved that the boys were farther ahead now, doing their voodoo bike dance for some other unsuspecting trail user. By now, I was getting tired. Remember those days as a kid when you'd take off on your bike and ride for hours, all around the neighborhood? Well, the only way that's going to happen for me right now is if my neighborhood only spanned a distance of say, three feet. My butt was starting to hurt, despite the fancy gel-cushioned seat I had purchased mere hours earlier. My quads were on fire. I was thirsty. For a moment, I contemplated the ramifications of stopping at the local bar for a cold beer, but thought the trailer full of toddlers might look somewhat suspicious parked in front of such an establishment.

After what seemed like an eternity, I located my nephews and convinced them to turn back so that we could go home. As we began the ride back to my truck, I prayed that I wouldn't faint from exertion and slide down the edge of the trail into the trees. While my nephews surely would have thought it was cool, and Maya certainly would have liked the momentary speed increase, I think Lizzie, the motherly one of the group, would have chastised me for such behavior. After all, it's not nice to run one's bike into a tree.

Back at the truck, I managed to get off my bike without alerting the boys to the fact that my legs now felt like rubber bands. I convinced Maya and Lizzie that attaching the trailer to the back of the truck was a bad idea, and got them in their respective car seats. Timmy, being the wild child that he is, wandered off in search of excitement while Ian and I loaded the seemingly endless supply of bicycles into the truck bed. When we got home, Timmy and Ian regaled their parents with stories of the bike ride. I noticed, but chose to ignore, the quizzical look in their eyes when Timmy mentioned that he had been run over.

It's been a few days since the fateful bike ride. While my muscles don't hurt as much as I imagined, my rear end is still kind of sore. I don't remember having a sore butt after riding a bike when I was a kid. I wonder if they make those banana seats for adult bikes?


Kelley said...

Sounds like a wild ride! I got one of those trailers for Jeff and they've had a good time with it.

Jen said...

Hee! You have made me rethink the bike pulling a trailer idea I have been having lately.