This might come as a shock to some of you, but, I hate exercise.
I know! Who would have guessed???
However, Blaine and I decided recently one of the things we would like to start doing as a family is bike riding around the lake. NOT the kind of bike riding where you speed-race a professional-quality bike wearing wet suit-type outfits and helmets with lights on them and have bottled waters strapped to the frame, a la Lance Armstrong. After all, we're bike riding with kids, which means we stop every few hundred feet to climb an interesting looking tree, or look for turtles, or play on playground equipment, or put pretty rocks in our pocket, or (especially maddening to me) count the wild cats we see. (And I wonder why I never burn any calories, what with all the stopping.)
The kids have always enjoyed riding bikes and in Georgia, the loop around our neighborhood was about a quarter mile, so Blaine would take them on occasion. Or I would walk and they would ride, circling back around to me when they got too far ahead. Here in Oklahoma, however, our "neighborhood" isn't set up well for bike riding, so we decided to utilize the bike paths around the two local lakes.
I think the kids really enjoy it, and I do as well. Which is surprising, considering my idea of exercise is changing channels. The first night we went we lasted about half an hour, and except for what will be forever known as the Unfortunate Mutant Attacking Beetle Episode of '08, it was a lot of fun. The other night we met my sister and her family, along with some other kids .... the kids seem to multiply as often as the wild cats around the lake, when our two groups get together. Three adults to eleven kids .... it *sounds* like a pretty good ratio, until you realize the kids are in way better shape than we are and basically rode off and left us in the dust.
Starting out, it was just my three and a friend:
We meandered around, enjoying the view, trying not to crash into one another, struggling to remember to stay on the right so the "serious" riders could pass to the left .....
Here we stopped to watch a man practice retrieving with his two dogs. The kids loved to see the dogs fetch out of the water and want to know when can we take Barley and start practicing??? I told them whenever I can trust her not to pee in my car on the drive to the lake .....
Here's the point to my story, however..... Blaine had a bike, and the kids had bikes. I, however, did NOT, have a bike. Because owning a bike implies I am going to get on it. And steer. And pedal. Which might induce sweating, something I avoid at all costs.
Since I knew I would slow the whole family down without one, however, I broke down and bought a bike for myself. I thought long and hard about my decision. Granted, you never forget how to ride a bike, but I wanted a bike that would reflect my personality; be comfortable to ride; allow me to burn a lot of calories; and MOST importantly .... look cool.
This is what I decided upon:
OK. Before you laugh, let me tell you that not one .... not two .... not three .... but FOUR people stopped me in Wal-Mart to ask me where I got it and how much it cost. Obviously, it is a thing of envy. The basket on the back allows me to carry my camera bag and all the water bottles and snacks --- something that makes me instantly essential to everyone riding with me. The dual back wheels mean I never have to worry about losing my balance ..... I just have to remember I'm a little wider than your average bike, especially when pedaling around curves and posts (lesson learned the hard way.)
I'm not quite sure WHY I'm not getting the respect I think I deserve. After all, I'm out there steering ... and pedaling ..... and (gasp!) EXERCISING, aren't I?
So you tell me which comment was the most insulting from my ::supposed:: friends and family:
Comment #1, from my dear friend Renee: "You bought what????? Aren't those for people who have had strokes or something????"
Comment #2, from my brother-in-law Cliff: "When I was little I had a babysitter that would ride that kind of bike to my house .... she was 97 YEARS OLD."
Comment #3, from my soon-to-be-ex-husband-Blaine: "Hmmmmmmm. Are you sure that seat is big enough?"
Oh, Yes. Yes he did.