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JB and I went bike riding along a local greenway late last Friday afternoon to enjoy the unseasonably cool temps (low 80s in July? yeehaw!). I took Lucille, my vintage yellow Schwinn. JB took his ancient Huffy mountain bike. I've named it Dave.
Despite Lucille's age - 40, maybe - and previous mechanical problems, I adore her. And everything was going spinningly for about 2 1/2 miles until kerchunk. The left pedal just fell off.
JB sat on the ground for a good five minutes, trying to screw it back on without tools. No luck. I knew I should have brought the tool kit.
We were faced with a 2 1/2-mile walk back to the car (and a fast-approaching dinner with friends that evening). Optimistic as usual, JB thought I might be able to ride it anyway, slowly. He tried and managed to do it. I was determined to give it a go.
I kind of got the hang of it, pedaling hard with my right foot and doing a weird circular foot twist thing with my left. You can make the bike go without a pedal if you push down on the pedal shaft when it comes up around, then wrap your foot around it to keep it going until it comes around again.
The problem is that I had to keep my left leg permanently lifted; there was no place to rest it. I could only take that for so long. JB took one for the team and we switched. I rode his bike (how do boys ride bikes with that giant bar in the crotchular area?) and he rode my girly yellow bike with its cute basket. The embarassment was shortlived because even his legs - which probably weigh less than mine - couldn't hold up for long.
So we walked and pushed the bikes. For two miles.
I realized my yellow flats are cursed. I was wearing them when we got lost at Versailles and had to walk a million miles back to the bus stop. And I was wearing them last Friday when Lucille's pedal fell off.
But I also realized (again) that it's fun to get stranded. The weather was beautiful and JB and I got a better chance to talk and joke than we would've if we'd been biking. I started playing some of our favorite Keane songs on my BlackBerry's tinny speaker and we walked along singing out loud. It felt like we were in the 1960s, and he was walking me home from a date as we belted along to our transistor radio.
Even though we walked side-by-side most of the time, I like this photo. I'm behind the camera, then there's JB; Lucille and Dave. It was a fine time indeed.