Ever since I got my new job earlier this summer, I’ve been eager to either walk or ride my bike the meager mile between home and the library. Unfortunately,  with the heat that we have had this summer, I would have been way past prime for dealing with the public. I would have ruined my shower before I reached the first corner only two houses away.

Yesterday’s moderate temperatures, as well as my afternoon schedule allowed me my first trip via my recumbent trike. The bike looks comfortable, which it is, but it uses different leg muscles to ride – especially uphill. There’s no way to stand up on a recumbent to give that extra oomph to the push up the hill. Funny, how one never notices the inclines when in a car, but it is undeniable to the eye when seated lower to the ground as on my bike.

As it turned out, the mole hills were not the steepest mountain.

Three blocks from the house I needed to cross the main north-south street. The intersection is guarded by a traffic light that is triggered by magnets in the road. I can proudly say that the heavier tricycle and the giant economy-sized me weren’t enough to trigger the signal. A car came up behind me and allowed me more than adequate space so I waved the driver to come up. Once along side me, she rolled down her window and asked, “Not heavy enough to trigger the light?”

“I love admitting that is the case.”

She laughed.

It was Husband and Son coming up behind her before the light changed. Husband wanted to make sure I made it safely, so he kept a polite distance behind me.

This proved fortunate for my next stop – a four-way stop close to the college that is fairly busy. In the middle of the intersection which was in the middle of a climb, my cell phone fell out of my pocket. Stopping, backing up, and picking up the phone without getting off the bike was not a problem. Getting into motion again, conscious of cars approaching the stop sign from both north and south, almost seemed ann unlikely scenario. I spun the pedals backwards to give me leverage and managed to put the trike in motion as the first vehicle reached the stop sign.

About a half a block later, on one of the few level sections, doing a fair speed, I heard a clink and looked down to see my keys on the macadam. It took six feet for me to come to a stop. I attempted standing with my rubber band legs when Husband pulled up alongside. He asked what was wrong now? By then, I realized I had also dropped the three pens that were in my pocket. Husband and Son said they would “pick up the crumbs”.

Before they got back to me, I hit the last and steepest hill – right after the last stop sign. I gave up and walked the bike up the last hill.

When Son and Husband arrived with my dropped belongings, they both advised that I may want to take a slightly different, more level way home. Husband admitted that when he bikes home from work each night, he has to stand on his conventional bike to get the power to get up the one hill on an otherwise down hill roll home.

Despite feeling like Gretl of cookie crumb fame on the way to work, I played the head-strong heroine on the way home. I came home the same way I went with an enthusiasm I was surprised I had. 

The ride home was uneventful. Once again I needed the aid of a larger vehicle to trigger the light at Main Street. But hey, when else can I say, “I didn’t weigh enough”?

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