Friday, November 6, 2009


I knew that my bike would be ready Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday night I literally didn't sleep. It feels like I turned twice in bed, blinked my eyes a few times and, the next thing I knew, it was 6:40 AM. I had to get up and get ready for class. I was tired, but excited about the call I was expecting from the bike shop. I was at the library around five o' clock when my cell phone rang--it was Outspokin' Bikes. My bike was ready! Unfortunately, there's no bike shop particularly close to me in Cartersville. Outspokin' Bikes is about seventeen miles away. After riding Praline home and jumping in the truck with plenty of blankets and old tee shirts, I made it to the bike shop shortly before closing.

I asked the bike mechanic who assembled Betty to pose with my new baby. (The photo must have come out like this because I was trembling with excitement). Then he put her in the back of the truck on two old blankets and I put the tee shirts around any points that were rubbing up against the truck bed--she was swaddled like a newborn baby.

I'm the type of person who likes to maintain the newness of a new thing for as long as possible; I can get a little freaky about it sometimes. When I first got my iPod, I would only put it in a pocket in my purse by itself--I didn't want anything knocking up against it. I didn't want it to get scratched. I got over it eventually, but gradually. Very gradually. I'd planned on being just as precious with Betty, but my inveterate procrastinating took care of that. Last night, I was so excited about my first ride on Betty in the morning that I couldn't sleep again. It was exactly the same as Wednesday night. I got up late this morning, wolfed down my breakfast, and hopped on Betty. It wasn't a very gracious hop, but I got under way without a problem. Regrettably, I didn't secure everything in my basket before heading out. I thought I could grab my bike lock before it slid out of the basket, but as I raced across the railroad tracks to beat the train that, as it turned out, wasn't coming, the lock got away from me and took a little bit of my wooden basket with it (not a lot, just some sort of coating on the wood). Luckily, the big AT&T van behind me didn't smoosh my bike lock under its tires. The driver actually got out and picked up my lock for me. He was nice--he complimented my bike and advised me to get some reflectors since it was such a dark color. I thanked him and he drove away.

When I reached school, I was presented with another problem. The bike rack looked positively Lilliputian. In order to lock my bike to the rack, I had to back it up and hook the lock around the dropouts. In the process, I scraped the rear fender against the building. So much for being precious with Betty. But I guess it's a good thing because it would be difficult to enjoy my bicycle to the fullest if I was overly worried about "messing it up."

Actually, I should be more worried about the damage my shoes might develop on Betty. No wonder Vivienne Westwood rides with her heels in her basket.
Nonetheless, I will ride tall. Literally. I feel so high up on this bike. I noticed it immediately and I thought, "I can look an SUV driver in the eye." Funnily, when I was on my way to the library after school I intimidated a younger SUV driver. I didn't even acknowledge her honk initially because no one has ever honked at me in town. When I casually turned to survey her through my sunglasses, I'm sure she shrank a bit. Her passenger passive aggressively yelled for me to get on the sidewalk before getting out of earshot. I've certainly felt more eyes on me today than usual; Betty really turns heads and, apparently, makes some chicks feel threatened. Sad. It would be so much easier for her to get a bike of her own than to try to spoil my good time. I'll be out and about enjoying myself tomorrow for sure.


  1. Oh my. I am VERY familiar with the being yelled at by a driver and instructed to "get on the sidewalk" scenario. It was clearly jealousy, as that is one mighty fine looking bicycle.

  2. I am also having the thought that I don't want to mar my bike when I do get it. But knowing myself (clumsy to the extreme) I can imgaine I won't go long without adding some special little mark to identify it as mine! Your bike is GORGEOUS by the way!

  3. povertyonwheels: I believe there's a country song about little women who drive huge SUV's. I'm sure the song points out whatever they are overcompensating for. That girl should really get on a bike an work out her issues ; )

    Brenda: Thanks! I'm sure you'll do fine on your Vienna 4. Since it's made for commuting, it should be especially easy for you to handle. Is it brown, though? I thought it would be blue. Either way, it'll be very slick and sophisticated looking.

  4. Dottie: Thanks! She is quite the noble steed, isn't she?