I am a part of a local writing group and we meet once a week. The members are useful and civilised.
Except for the token poet.
She is no help and poetry is a useless medium anyway; all pretty words and hidden meaning. If you have something to say, say it, don’t drown your intentions in metaphors and adjectives and words I have never heard before.
We all take turns in hosting the weekly meeting and since everyone lives relatively close to each other I have started riding my bike. Not just any bike, but my lemon yellow 1960s cruiser, complete with pink rims and pink flowers on the frame.
It’s the sort of bike all mature 30 something’s should own.
When I used to ride it in Forster kids in my neighbourhood used to wave at me and call out “what’s your name?”
I think they thought I was a bit special.
Since then I have taken the streamers out of the handlebars.
So I rode my bike to the writing group last week and it was the first time I had been on my bike for about 4 years. And let me tell you, Narrandera is filled with Mount Everest style hills. They don’t look like it when you’re in a comfortable car, but on a bike, no amount of gears lessens the burn in your lungs, thighs, toenails, eyelashes – everything burns.
I arrived at my destination, a whopping 10 minutes of muscle burning hell later. Thank god the lady hosting was an ex nurse. I rang my bike bell until she rushed out thinking someone had declared a state of emergency. And it was a state of emergency. She helped me off the bike, helped me up her unnecessarily huge front steps and inside to a face washer and glass of water.
At this point it looked like I may never walk again. And we had an ambulance on stand-by, just in case.
I never drink wine at these gatherings but after the Chuck Norris like work out I had just had, wine was in order. I had 2 big glasses.
I made many bad choices that night.
The ride home was a zig zag of straight roads that moved under my tires. They didn’t move like a travellator to help me reach my destination, they moved against me.
Almost home I had a road to cross. As I approached it, my brain was having a conversation with itself – should I get off and walk across the road or ride across it. What would Buffy do?
My body wasn’t waiting for the answer and simply kept going. My brain caught up with my body half way across the road and panicked. The bike wobbled and I went head over heels, kissing the centre of the road. Cars tooted at me as they drove past, one kid laughing and sticking his finger up at me. I had never been so embarrassed and not just because people saw my denim overalls.
Unhurt, I picked up my stupid lemon yellow 1960s cruiser with pink rims and pink flowers on the frame as a car stopped to help me.
“Are you ok? she asked.
“Hang on, do I know you? she continued
“Are you B* ‘s daughter?”
I said yes and gave her my sisters name.
Despite riding a bike that is usually reserved for special people and despite wearing denim overalls in public, my reputation remains intact.