Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Left in the Dust

I spent much of yesterday feeling a mixture of loneliness, frustration, and a little rejection. In doing so, I wasted a perfectly beautiful day as I tried to figure out what to do next.

Late in the morning my husband announced that he was going on a bike ride, but that it would probably be too difficult for me. When I complained about being left behind, he reminded me that the last time we went for a ride, I complained about our not being able to stay together. He maintains that he has to pedal at a certain speed because of a bad knee. This means that he is usually going faster than I can comfortably ride. So you totally miss the concept of riding together if you are simply reconnoitering every couple of miles.

If my friend Kris has been in town, I probably could have talked her into taking a ride with me. She is without a doubt the most incredible amateur biker I know – taking a little trip to Bethesda or Herndon in a morning’s time. However, she always manages to ride at whatever speed I choose, never complaining about how slowly I climb hills. But she was on her way to Chicago (by car!)

I thought about going off on my own. But there is not a lot to see in the general vicinity of my house and the bike rack was gone with the other biker.

I played the piano for a while, but I was making mistakes that I don’t normally make and it didn’t feel right.

So Harry Potter came to the rescue. Book #4 is every bit as good as the first three. I’m just at the point where they are preparing for the World Quidditch Match.

When the car and the bike rack came home, I briefly thought about throwing my bike on and heading down to Hains Point. But the truth is, I am not biking solely for the exercise, but just as much for the company.

So I immersed myself in HP until it was time for yoga. It was good to see my friends and my wonderful teacher Leyla and to breathe into those stretches that continue to challenge my body after all this time.

I’m still trying to figure out how to solve this biking dilemma. I had counted on biking as being one of those things we would do together in retirement. But there are only so many completely flat bike routes.

Ulysses – If you are reading this, can you suggest a training program that will improve my biking speed? Is there such a thing as a “trainer” for biking? Or maybe just a good book?


Blogger Velvet said...

I have a motorcycle you can use!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Velvet -- Great idea! Then all I'd have to do is press on the gas and steer. Guess who would be left in the dust! :)

2:15 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's definitely not fun to feel left behind; though, the book sounds like a good solo activity.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Yeah, reading Harry Potter is like eating comfort food. It feels so good!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

Send me an e-mail. Let me know what it is that you think is keeping your speed low. We'll go from there.
You might remember my grandparents had their bikes fastening together side-by-side, that's an accident waiting to happen around here though.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ulysses -- I just sent that e-mail. I'm sure you have some ideas to torture me into speeding up!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Aw, c'mon, let David take a bike ride on his own - why not? Practically speaking, you two always lock horns when it comes to biking together, so why not let that go?

Once you get yourself situated into whatever it is that retirement is going to be for you, I bet this will cease to be an issue.

Or....you could borrow Velvet's motorcycle! I think that sounds like a GREAT idea!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Biking is about the only outdoor physical activity that we both like. Besides, we would like to be able to take biking vacations together. I'm hopeful that his knee will get better and my speed will improve, allowing us to compromise.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I vote for velvet's motorcycle...just think of the possibilities ... you idling beside David, revving the engine a few times .... encouraging him to work a little harder, move a little faster .... especially on those l o n g low graded hills ...

ha. it does sound wicked ... but then again, what woman doesn't entertain wicked fantasies every now and then ??


12:58 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I think this is a case of differing intents and needs. I like walking, but I walk quite quickly. Sofia walks quite slowly, which annoys me because it throws me out of my rhythm and I am not getting what I want out of it. On the other hand, you, like Sofia, are looking for the companionship of the event (and, if I am wrong, my apologies for telling you what you think and feel).

For me (and I am hardly representative of men, but in this regard I think I am), a walk or bike ride is about solitude, not companionship (if you want to come, great, but keep up and don’t intrude on my solitude)

3:00 PM  
Blogger riseoutofme said...

Seriously consider Velvets kind offer ... You on a Harley, in black leather, maybe with a few tasteful tattoos, blonde hair blowing in the wind ... bound to slow any man down ...

On a more serious note ... DO the training anyway ...YOU'LL feel GREAT!

5:45 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- It is definitely a guy thing to view biking or walking as primarily a source of exercise and to prefer solitude.

Rise -- I am looking forward to coming up with a "training plan". It will be a good thing to work on.

If I wasn't scared to death of driving a motorcycle, I would definitely take Velvet up on her offer.

10:21 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Let some of the air out of Davids tires...that'll slow him down!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Jamy said...

It's a little silly, but what about a motorized bicycle? My mom has one and found it very easy to use--and she's scared of motorcycles. You can still peddle, but just use the motor to assist, especially up hills!

3:55 PM  

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