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Like riding a bike. Exactly like riding a bike.

Phone Call Number 1:
  • 6:55 am
  • My husband called me.
  • He explained something about having taken my keys that morning so he couldn't lock his bike at the T.  
  • Would I please use his keys - which include the bike lock key - to lock the bike at the T?  
  • Yes, okay, of course I could do that.

About five minutes later, I looked for his keys to add to the pile of Things I Have To Have With Me Before I Leave In The Morning Or Else...

Phone Call Number 2:

  • 7:10 am
  • I called my husband.
  • I explained something about not finding any keys at home.
  • Did he have both sets of keys with him?
  • Yes.  Yes, he had all of the keys to our life.
  • At work.
  • In Southie.

Actually, not a huge deal.  I had my laptop so I could work from home.  We live a fifteen minute walk from daycare, and we have walked before.  Plus, I could grab the bike and take it home so it wouldn't sit unlocked all day at a T stop. 

My husband suggested it would be fine to leave the bike unlocked for the day; I insisted it would be easy to take it home.

Because, after all, riding a bike five minutes from the T to home did not sound all that daunting.

The morning continued as usual except that Bug, Squish, and I got to daycare/school on foot (or in the stroller), which was very, very pleasant.  It definitely was nicer than sitting in traffic.

After their drop-off, it was time to get the bike.  I found it pretty quickly - thanks to the Kenyon College bike registration sticker from 1996.  Yep, 1996.

Then I was faced with the task of taking the bike without looking like I was taking the bike. 

I started by pulling on the bike lock.  I thought it was unlocked (See Phone Call Number 1.), but I also thought that it was connecting the bike to the rack.  So I pulled and pulled.  About ninety long seconds later, I realized the lock was not connecting anything to anything.  It was just on the handlebars - I could slip the lock off the bike.  Feeling foolish but wanting to seem like I owned this bike, I pulled it out from the rack. 

Next step: put on my husband's bike helmet.  Perhaps this is no great surprise, but his helmet was a little big on me.  Not unsafe big.  Just a little roomy.  And the straps to tighten the helmet were complicated and difficult to manipulate.  In light of my fear of looking like I was taking the bike home, I opted for a loose helmet. 

Helmet on, it was time to get on the bike and ride it home.

But to be candid, I have not been on a bike since the new millennium.

Nevertheless, convinced of the truth of the old adage, it's like riding a bike, I swung one leg over the seat.

I looked down at the pedals and saw each pedal had what look like a muzzle, which worried me because I don't think I have ever put muzzles on my feet - in this millennium or the last.

I put one foot in one muzzle and soon realized I had to put the other foot in the other muzzle, which was starting to feel like a bad idea.  An idea that would lead to my very literal downfall.

In the midst of my foot muzzle quandary, I noted another issue that needed addressing.  Galumphing along - only about eighteen inches from my starting point - alternating feet in muzzles and feet on ground - I realized the seat was too high for me. 

Starting off for maybe the fifth time since I had appeared at the bike rack, I managed to get my feet on both pedals and to get going on the path home - albeit as a wobbly, middle-aged lady with a crooked, oversized bike helmet on her head, hunched over to reach handlebars that are about four inches too far away, while a neon green reusable bag from Habana Outpost was swinging from my wrist. 


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