My husband bought me a bicycle last Christmas. He also bought himself one, with visions of us riding off into the countryside sunset together. The beautiful new bikes have been sitting in the basement all winter. The wheels were fastened into a plastic thingy (I don’t know bike lingo yet) so we could pedal away the snowy days while watching television. I did that once…..or twice. No, once.
Now that the days are finally longer and warmer, it’s time to bring the bikes upstairs, clip on the helmet and take off. It’s true that you never forget how to ride a bike. I hop on and maneuver around the driveway nicely, shifting gears and gripping the brakes. There is only one problem. We live on a hill.
No matter if we go north, south, or east, it’s a downhill ride. (We don’t go west.) I love flying past the houses in our neighborhood on my cool new bike. I feel sporty and athletic, which is a new sensation for me. As I race along I shout over to my husband, “Thanks so much for getting these bikes, honey! This is so much fun!” He is beaming.
We coast along for several blocks before leveling off. Then we pedal along the river pathway, soaking in the sights, smells and sounds of nature. It is glorious. And totally flat. We stop after a while to take our water bottles out of our cool new water bottle holders and take a few sips. I love this new thing we can do together, I love my husband, I love my bike.
Perhaps being caught up in the exhilarating feel of the wind in my face outweighed common sense. But realizing the only way home was to climb a mountain made me want to cry. My honey wouldn’t consider going back by himself and bringing the car down to pick me up. I made it one-half of a block before my thighs began to burn. From now on, I’ve gotta remember: what goes down, must come up.