Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lucky charm

I have a new best friend. He is so pretty and takes me places, and I like to ride him every day. Here's a picture of him:

His name is Lucky. I got him a month ago. I have wanted a bike for years but every time I would go to pull the trigger, I would decide it was too much money for something I would barely use. Well that's not entirely true-I bought one once a few years ago at a police department bike auction. They auction off bicycles that are recovered from thieves and never claimed. I bought a bike there then took it home to my apartment. Within a month it was stolen out of our garage. I think it was stolen was because it was a stolen bike-that was its purpose, its raison d'etre if you will and it just wanted to get back to its old life. A bike like that can't thrive in captivity. I'm sure that's the reason it was stolen and not because in 5 years we never closed the garage door once.

A month ago I decided that I was definitely going to buy myself a bike with my tax refund. I dragged Diane and Drew to the bicycle store with me. A nice lady approached us and this is how the exchange went:

Bicycle Lady: Hi. How can I help you?
Me: I want a bicycle. I don't really know anything about bicycles.
BL: Okay. Well what kinds of things will you be using it for? How will you use it most?
Me: I want to ride around my neighborhood. And the Metroparks. And I want to go to Rite Aid.
BL: O...kaaaayyy...
Me: My friend told me I should look at "comfort" bikes. [note: I did airquotes.]

That actually made sense to the nice Bike Lady so she took me over to look at bikes, and I found one I really liked for a pretty good price. She said we could test ride it. Diane and I looked at each other nervously then said, "Yeah great!"

Why the nervous look? Neither of us had ridden a bike in years. 17 years for me. I got on the bike and just started kind of shimmying back and forth and saying, "How do I make it go?" I finally got going and wobbled all over the place for a few minutes before I found my balance. It was glorious. I knew immediately I had to have it. Incidentally when Diane got on to test ride it she had the same wobbly issue then headed straight for my car. I was like, "Diane, turn." Pause. "Diane, turn." Pause. "DIANE, TURN!" Luckily she turned before she sideswiped my car. I think the Bike Lady was pretty excited about us testing out the store's brand new unsold merchandise given our skill level.

Less than a week later, I was back at the store making my purchase including a bunch of dorky accessories like a bag on the back, fenders and a kickstand which apparently is extremely uncool these days. But seriously how can I sit it upright in my driveway to take pictures of it without a kickstand?

He is so so pretty. Here's another picture:

Here is a picture of my helmet which simultaneously makes me look like an expert biker and a total fucking dork:

When I told John I was getting a bike, I was like, "Do I need a helmet?" And John said, "You? YOU definitely need a helmet." Shut up, John.

I have ridden Lucky almost every day since I bought him. I know that sounds dirty, but that's all part of the fun. I love him! It's definitely one of the best investments I've ever made.

Up until this past Friday, I had been incident-free. Then this Friday I had a terrifying run-in with a car. The harrowing tale follows.

First some facts you need to know:

1. My mailbox is essentially across the street from my house.
2. In my neighborhood, a car comes roughly once every 15 minutes.
3. I am 32.

While waiting for my dad to come over, I went to go get the mail. I decided to hop on my bike, ride around the block and pick up my mail on the way back. I left my driveway and went around the corner. It was at that time I noticed a car was coming up behind me. For reasons unknown, I felt I needed to get out of the car's way since a) it was going roughly 10mph and b) there was literally no other car for miles. I have no idea why, you guys, but you know you can't apply logic to most of my thinking so don't try now. I went up onto the curb.

Let me rephrase that: I tried to go up onto the curb. I did not, as the experts say, "make it".

I have no idea what happened, but I couldn't get up over the curb. I started wobbling, I thought, "Oh God this is it. I'm going over." And BAM-I was on the ground.

I landed with full force on my right knee, elbow and both hands. Here are the thoughts I had in the order in which I had them:

Holy shit, Sarah.

Holy crap that van is going to stop and check on me, aren't they. This is horrible.

Where is that van? Oh-it turned before it even got to me.

Oh my God did anyone else see that?

Holy fuck my knee hurts. I don't know if I can get up.

Did I rip my jeans?

Okay I didn't rip my jeans. Thank God. These are new.

I want my mommy.

Good Lord are my palms bleeding? Ew.

Sarah, get up, get on your bike and ride away like nothing happened.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. It's broken. I broke my new bike.

Okay it's just the chain. Piece of cake. Oh my God why isn't this going back on. Please, Lucky. Please work so I can go home and see if I am bleeding all over my jeans.

Finally. Okay start pedaling.

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Get the mail. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

This is about when my father showed up. I had just finished washing all the dirt out of my palm wounds, putting a bandaid on my bleeding elbow and cleaning the blood out of the inside of my jeans. He was like, "Why are you walking like that? Is something wrong with your foot?" I looked down in shame and replied, "I fell off my bicycle." He offered to take me to the emergency room as I felt my knee growing bigger and bigger, but I refused to go to the ER because I fell off my bicycle at age 32. He said we could make up a cooler story about why I was hurt. I do so love my pops. By the way, my mom's first reaction to this story: "Were you wearing your helmet?" Right? So the correct Mom response.

The injury report is that I scraped up my palms and elbow, badly bruised my left ankle to the point where I can't where anything but flip flops because it's so swollen and disgusting (completely black and blue and green) and I destroyed my right knee. Besides there being no skin left on it, it is beyond swollen and sore. I'm finally walking with only a slight limp, but I can't walk up stairs normally, I can't bend it very far and by about 7pm each night, it is throbbing.

Here is a drawing to give you a better idea about where this took place. It was literally around the corner from my house:

I've drawn the path the car took to reiterate that the car turned before it even got to me.
Seriously there is no bigger moron than me. Like in the world. Ever. (This is where my mom said, "You're not a moron! You're just clumsy! You have been your whole life." Oh okay that's better.) 'But, Sarah,' some of you nice people are saying, 'Curbs are high. How could you have expected to jump one?' Because, folks, this wasn't a normal curb. This was like a driveway curb. It is roughly 1.5 inches high. I couldn't glide up over a 1.5 inch driveway curb.

This might be why John told me I need a helmet.

Follow up notes:
1. No less than 7 people have told me I need training wheels.
2. Steph texted me and said that she heard a saying that when you have sex for the first time in a long while, it's like riding a bike and that I have basically given new meaning to that phrase. I told her, "All I'm saying is in that situation, people should wear knee pads and elbow pads."
3. I can't wait to heal so I can ride my bike again.

Completely unrelated P.S. Some of you know I spend an inordinate amount of time watching "Golden Girls" reruns. I am watching one now and clicked "Info" on my remote to get the episode summary. This is what it says: "An ill friend wants to end her life. Comedy." Comedy indeed. Suicide is hilarious, you sassy senior citizen senoritas!


Anonymous said...

Seriously, this made me laugh more than anything else I've read today. I'm still in the process of getting a bike for university.

I'll make sure I buy elbow pads too.

Bec said...


Try learning to ride a bike after 25 years while simultaneously trying to master the art of clip-in pedals. It's as horrid as it sounds.

I once came to a complete stop at an intersection, unclipped my foot and promptly (read:accidentally) clipped back in. We all know what happens when a bike stops moving - it falls over. I literally fell in slow motion, landing on my back at a busy intersection. During rush hour.

Bikes be dangerous things.

Anonymous said...

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! That's is the funniest story EVER! Hope all your injuries heal soon.

Kristen Marie said...

this story is hilarious! i mean...not that you fell. that sucks. okay, yeah, i guess it's because you fell. heh. and i love the drawing :)

and the golden girls thing...seriously? that's great. I wonder if there's a guy that writes those blurbs and just laughed to himself for a minute before moving on to "Matlock. Matlock gets a haircut. Drama".

Fizzgig said...

maybe i should stop harassing my girlfriend into riding her bike with me. I got back on after 17 years and it was like riding a bike. Bam. Instant awesomeness - i even ride w/o hands like back in the day. I'm a pro.

She is afraid to get back on i figured no one could forget how to ride, and i call her a chicken shit...but you may have saved her life. she thanks you.

Anonymous said...

I can't stop reading this story... it gets funnier every time I read it. Thanks for an awesome laugh. And seriously, sorry you fell and hurt yourself.

Erratic said...

Awesome. I mean, I am glad you aren't seriously hurt and sorry about the knee/ankle/various other body parts. But, the story...the story was awesome.

I am jealous of your dad. When I *ahem* tripped over the dog and ended up in the hospital...between my dad and the boy, yeah. Let's just say quite a few people laughed their asses off as soon as I left the room.

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard that I cried. You are hilarious. Sorry about the injuries. Can't wait to hear about the next time a car is approaching from behind!

Susan in Texas

AG said...

I still love you. You make my mascara run I alugh so hard.

AG said...

I laugh, too.

Candice said...

I'm so glad I read this. I'm about to get a bike and I haven't ridden one since I was about 16. I'm 32 now.

Do the math. ;)

Maybe I'll ride at night only so that when I bust my ass, nobody will see. Or at least they won't recognize me.

jessica o said...

Courtney dragged me over here, but I'm so glad! You, my new friend, are hilarious. Love the story - except for the part where you seriously injure yourself. That kinda sucked.


citygirl said...

While I am sorry you got all broken, this was hilarious. And? So like me if I tried to ride a bike now!