My relationship with Lucy has not been smooth going. She has resisted and fought me every step or should I say pedal of the way. She resists my butt to the point that it aches the day after a ride and now she insists on creaking and rattling the whole trip. She only shuts up when I stop pedalling to catch my breath now and then.
Last night, I thought enough is enough. I am ready to tame this bike finally and show her who is boss. I had a destination in mind; it was Shell Park, Oakville. I live near the border of Burlington and Oakville so it was not out of the realm of possibility.
On my trip, I took a detour along a trail heading east. That was my general direction so I thought it would be fun to see where it went.
It was like riding through the jungle. Everything is so lush and alive right now. I am sure that there were birds chirping and insects buzzing, but I could not hear anything except the rattling and creaking of my bike. I sounded like a freight train rolling at high speed along the tracks as the noises bounced off the brush lining the trail. I do believe that the folks I scared either thought it was a train or a bear crashing through the brush by the look of shock on their faces as I came hurtling over the crest of a little hill. The woman tried to explain her look by telling me that they had been standing there looking at all the deer who were just hanging around. I yelled, “Oh cool!” as I flew by. I was too busy to stop to look, knowing that they must have long taken off when they heard the racket coming along the trail. Deer are smart. They would not wait around for a bear to attack them.
Lucy was good in the beginning, other than the noise, but while we were on the trail, she dug in her wheels at every slight incline so that I had to really, really pump to carry both her and myself up the hill. It was brutal. I actually had to get off and walk up a hill no bigger than an anthill, because I did not have the strength to get the pedal around one more time. I should have felt defeated, but I did not. I was even more determined to win this battle. I jumped back on the saddle, blew out the other end of the trail, and found myself on Great Lakes Blvd. I was not far from Shell Park. Victory was almost mine.
My plan on arriving at the park was to find a nice quiet spot to rest and just think. I like to do that sometimes. Especially in a natural setting where I can enjoy the sounds of nature.
I passed another athletic person leaving the park who gave me a congratulatory look and smile. He did not say a word, but I could read his mind. He was thinking, “Good for you! You have moxie, getting on a bike that is about to implode and wheeling around like your half your size. Way to go!”
Rest was near and my butt was screaming from the pain of the seat. This is in spite of my installing a new gel seat cover over the already supposedly comfortable saddle. I cycled into the park on the driveway and followed it to the very back of the park. I passed all four soccer fields, and followed the roadway back towards the entrance. I was looking for that spot that was going to call out to me to stop. I did not see it. Then I came to the realization that stopping would probably be the worst thing I could do. If my butt was yelling now, what would it be like to get off the bike and then try to get on in a few minutes and ride all the way home? There was no way I was going to walk my bike back home. That would be ridiculous. So, as I rattled past the cool young men doing tricks in the skateboard park and the young families with their toddlers at the kiddie park, I made up my mind to ignore my derriere and head for home.
In my mind, I told myself to slow down that I needed to make the last half of this hellish tour a leisurely ride but my butt could not stand the pain and was pushing my legs to pump even harder so that I could get off this damned bike.
The heavy traffic on Lakeshore and Burloak was disconcerting. I didn’t like seeing the small convertibles flying down the road in the opposite direction, the passengers with shear enjoyment plastered on their faces while I was struggling with the uphill grade (it’s not visible in a car or walking – only on a wretched bike) and trying to give the impression that I was enjoying myself. I am certain that my face was portraying pain not pleasure, but at this point, pain was winning and I did not have the fortitude to hide it, so I needed to get away from people and traffic.
I shot down a westward road at the first opportunity. I was smart enough to choose a “road” and not a “court”. Even though I did not know where it was going, I was certain it would go “somewhere” and not bring me right back to where I started. That is the problem with modern subdivisions. They all have curvy roads to nowhere except where you started.
My plan did not quite work out. Yes, I was away from the busy vehicular traffic, but now I was riding with other pedestrians, people who could actually speak to me and give me compliments on the pretty bike. Little do they know, looks are not everything – she is mean.
I tried to feign enthusiasm and happiness as I struggled to get home. Getting off wretched Lucy was foremost in my mind. Before I reached my destination however, I did have a car slow down beside me and the driver, who I could not make out, yelled some greeting at me as his wife/gf smiled or laughed. Thinking back to the look on her face, it might not have been a greeting, maybe it was an inflammatory insult like “Are you completely mad? Don’t you know there is a noise by-law? Get off the road, Fatty!”
It is a good thing I have a hearing deficiency in that ear. I can choose to believe it was a greeting and continue oblivious to the mocking that had just occurred. My destination was in sight now, so with victory salivating in my mouth, I focussed on my legs, push, push, push, come on, keep going, you’re almost there, push, push, push...
I deeked into the first entrance to my complex, so I could coast slowly to my door, just pumping enough to keep the bike upright and moving. The last hurdle, the curb to the driveway was not happening. I looked at it and could feel the jarring in my tailbone so I stopped short of going over and struggled to pull my leg up, over the seat, and off the bike. It was all I could do not to throw her on the ground and yell, but I was too tired for that. So instead, I walked her slowly into the garage and made sure she was standing solidly on her kickstand, and then gave her a dirty look while I watched the garage door close down locking her away until the next time.