Wednesday, April 15, 2009

May you live in exciting times..... an old Chinese proverb, and that is certainly how it feels right now!  Quick update on the cycling:  since it is prohibited to take your bike on the T during rush hour, Pata thought that we could have a longer lesson on Sunday.  In the meantime, on Tuesday and Thursday I would practice on my own.  After my small (yet very significant) victory on Saturday, I finally felt that I could make that commitment and not flake out.
So yesterday was the moment of truth.  I got home, changed and found that Stuart was ready to go down to the bike path around the Charles River, with me.  He has a gorgeous BMC crossfire bike which we bought in Switzerland (when we bought Christine), and he was looking forward to a bit of a ride.  
It was a lovely day, and everyone, but everyone was out down by the river.  Joggers, runners, cyclists, walkers, pedestrians - everyone.
I wish I could have seen Stuart's face when I first got on my bike and started pedaling.  I did a few turns up and down a little side street, just to make sure that I had not forgotten what to do!  His "wow" expressed everything I guess!  This was the first time he has ever seen me actually sit, stay and ride a bike!
When we got down to the river, it was super busy.  After 2 false starts, I felt quite nervous, as the path is much, much narrower than the 12 ft wide bike path I ride on with Pata.  Also, there were loads of people and I felt they were in danger of my knocking them down.  It was when Stuart said that we could go back to a quiet road if I wanted, that I thought to bite the bullet.
So, I got on the bike and after a bit of a wobbly start, got my legs going round.  We cycled down the path, past the boathouses, and eventually got to the yacht club where the path was almost deserted.  However, when I tried going up a hill, the bike just stopped dead - ah the importance of changing gears!  Well that is certainly something I am going to have to learn in a hurry, as there is no way I will be able to get up any hill whilst staying in a fixed gear.
Still, the ride was amazing - I stayed on the bike, managed to stop when a large group of walkers came towards me, and even managed to cycle over some very large cracks and potholes.  It was pretty windy, but I stayed quite steady.  I have to admit though, I was both exhilirated and relieved when the ride was over!  So Thursday should be part 2 of this cycling week.  I am quite looking forward to it, and if I feel confident enough, I might even go alone!

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