Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My mom likes her bike. In fact, my mom LOVES her bike; she rides it almost everyday. She doesn't go grocery shopping. She doesn't ride it to work. She doesn't even really ride it to any place at all. She just rides it. I don't know where she goes, or what she sees… just that she goes and she comes back huffing and puffing.

Her bicycle is not a fancy bicycle. I bought it 30 years used for $40. It has 3 speeds, 2 of which she neglects. It was made in England, and it's a wonderful forest green. She has a little bell, and a water bottle holder with a Daisy Duck water bottle crammed into it.

When I got home from work today, I saw a little note tagged on the kitchen counter, "Went for a bike ride. Dominic will be home for dinner"; clearly for my dad to read.I took the note and went through the house searching for my mom to ask her about her ride. I found her lying on the couch with an ice pack on her knee. I asked about her ride."I went down today - hard.," she said, as she raised her pant leg. There I saw a bruise the size of a grapefruit, a 4-inch long scrape, and a terrible lump.

She proceeded to tell me about her ride, and the route she took, and how she followed all the laws that I am so adamant about. She told me that everything was going fine; she was enjoying the breeze and the shade provided by some out-of-control oleanders, when suddenly her front wheel whipped sideways and she was thrown to the ground.

The asphalt along the side of the road has large bumps and deep divots in it from several root systems wrecking havoc. Inspiration! I have decided to list and report road hazards such as this to my local councilperson. I don't know what good it will do, but at least they can't say that they didn't know. Bumps, cracks and holes may not be much of a hazard for a car, but they can be hell on a bicycle.

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