I Throw Like a Girl

I believe I am now banned from the bike shop.

Posted by Carol on March 28, 2008

My husband is an avid biker. Or should I say bicyclist?  What I mean is he likes to ride bikes. A lot. Not the kind with motors, the kind that you have to pedal with your own two legs. 

For the longest time, he only rode mountain bikes.  I use the word bikes because somehow what started out as one bike for hubby in our garage has multiplied to… let’s just say more than one. I don’t know what those bikes do out there in the garage, but I don’t want to know because every time I look out there, it seems we have another bike.

But I’m rambling. 

Dear Hubby has wanted me to join him in his mountain biking adventures.  That’s very kind of him and great in a relationship-building, meaningful-time together kind of way.  There’s only one problem with that idea.  Hubby rides his mountain bike in places where no man has gone before.  He goes over logs, through streams, over and around boulders, and through pricker bushes.  He walks in the door after an afternoon of biking with his buddies with a big smile on his face and blood dripping from more than one location on his body and too many bruises to count.

Then he’ll say, “Carol, you have got to come with me next time.  That was a blast!”

Yeah, I’m convinced. 

Call me crazy, but one of my main goals each day is to keep all my body parts intact.   

Soon, much to his dismay, some of Hubby’s friends realized they were getting older and that it took them longer to recover from all their mountain biking injuries.  But rather than give up biking altogether, they decided to add another dimension to their biking experience.  They bought road bikes.  Dear Hubby was not at all happy.  He felt road bicycling is for wimps.  Or at least for those who like to keep all their blood inside their bodies. 

But Hubby quickly made a discovery.  His buddies who were roadies as well as mountain bikers, developed more stamina and did better at mountain biking than the ones who were not roadies.  Apparently, long uphill climbs on a road bike are very good for developing your leg muscles as well as endurance.

Not one to be left in the dust by his friends (I forgot to mention Hubby is a tad bit competitive),  he soon made the move to the dark side and purchased a used road bike to give it a try. And surprise of all surprises, he liked it.  I also noticed that he would come home from a road ride just as happy, yet without all the cuts and bruises. 

So, the next time he suggested that I take up biking, I said, “Sure, as long as I can get a road bike”.  He agreed and off we went to the nearest bike shop. 

Since Hubby is an experienced biker who does a lot of his own repairs, he is very familiar with bike components and for someone at his level of biking those things do make a difference. But for me, not so much.  I just wanted an entry level road bike that I could get used to and have fun while getting in shape. 

The very friendly sales guy in the bike shop showed me just that. It was an entry level bike just the right size and height.  I was sold.  Hubby was not.  He was unconvinced that I wasn’t picking the bike just because it was purple and affordable.  He wanted me to try one the next level up with a few more bells and whistles.  My mind was already made up, but to make him happy, I agreed to try another bike.

That was my big mistake.

The next bike didn’t fit as well. I felt awkward on it.  The seat was positioned at an angle to put your upper body more forward over the handle bars.  While Hubby and Friendly Sales Guy chatted about all things biking. I decided this was not the bike for me and attempted to remove myself from said bike.  Because of the strangely angled seat, my leg did not clear it all the way while getting off the bike and before I knew it, I and the bike were heading quickly towards the ground.  In my attempt to save myself and my dignity, I put out my left arm to break my fall. 

All I ended up breaking was my left wrist.

A trip to the emergency room confirmed that I would need to be in a cast for the next six weeks.  Since I didn’t end up with the purple bike, I chose a purple cast.  And for a while, I chose to feel very sorry for myself.

This took place on July 9th, 2007.  I wouldn’t be getting the cast off until the later part of August.  During the six weeks I’d be wearing my cast, we already had a vacation to a lake planned, but there would be no swimming or water sports for me.  Doing my usual activities one-handed was extremely frustrating, never mind painful for the first few weeks.  I soon found myself wishing for the time to go by quickly so I could just get this darn cast off and be back to normal.

The problem with that thinking was that on Aug. 12 our 18 year old son was leaving for college over 1000 miles away from home. So wishing away my time in my cast was also wishing away the last few weeks with our son at home. In order to  enjoy the last few weeks with our son, I had to accept my cast and actually embrace that time as a sweet time with our family because I knew things were going to change drastically when he left.
That experience taught me that, not only do I not really want a bike, but also that I need to be content in the here and now no matter what my circumstances may be.  So many times I am so looking forward to “the next thing” that I overlook what is right in front of me. Yes, some days are better than others, but they all are a gift from God.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
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6 Responses to “I believe I am now banned from the bike shop.”

  1. Oh, how suh-weet is that? We so look at things the same way. And, guess what? My husbands rides a bike everyday to work from the earliest moment possible in the season to the latest possible. Me? Not so much. I like to walk or “jog.” (Can’t really call it running.)

  2. Carol said

    Oh no! I just told hubby about this post and after he read it he said, “we need to get back to that bike shop to get you a bike now that it’s spring”. I’m holding my ground this time and sticking with the purple bike if they still have it. 🙂

  3. The Moody Foodie said

    Are you sure we’re not married to the same guy?

    Oh, wait, mine did the road bike thing first, then got into mountain biking. Otherwise, sounds pretty much the same.

  4. Beverlydru said

    This sounded quite familiar, just not with bikes. A hike or camping trip with my husband is truly an experience. The memories usually restrain my enthusiasm for the next adventure. I often end up injured – his fitness is just on a totally different level than mine. ; ) Fortuntately our son is often his willing compadre now and he can keep up as well as enjoy it. I try. Great story.

  5. Randy said

    Loved your story, and from a man’s point of view, keeping the blood on the inside is over rated!

    Good luck with the purple bike.

  6. tammy b said

    welcome to my world! i have a runner husband who also took up the road bike. our garage is also the home of several different styles. however, i did get a FABULOUS bike – a cruiser. it’s sweet and i feel like i’m riding along the boardwalk at the beach every time i climb on board.

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