daisy, daisy…

Still slammed, but took most of the day off for an excursion in Capital City with Mr. X*.  Gorgeous, unseasonably warm winter day was not to be wasted, so the plan was to bike downtown for lunch, then hit a theatrical production at the local university.

But my knee remains somewhat gimpy** after the latest injury.  i’ve been biking through the warm winter, but not pushing myself hard.

Mr. X:  Do you want to try my tandem?

daisyfae:  Ummm…. Do you think i can manage it?

Mr. X:  Well, you’ll need to be completely submissive, and that goes against your nature…

daisyfae:  Hey!  i can sub – i just have to pick the right dom!  i don’t trust just anyone!

And so we went.

To ride on the back seat of a tandem bicycle requires some serious concessions.  There is no steering.  With my feet in ‘cages’ on the pedals, when we stop?  He holds the bike upright.  When he pedals?  i pedal.  Whether i feel like it or not…

The view is a bit different, too.  Mostly, i’m staring at his ass back, trying to stay centered, and not toss the balance out of whack.

This was something new for him as well.  The only other person who rides on the back of that bike is his son.  The kid has been riding back seat since he was about seven years old.  Now that he’s fifteen?  He’s pretty comfortable back there.

So Mr. X had to communicate a little more than usual.  To keep from dragging pedals on the pavement, right turns require keeping the right foot up through the corner.  Similar process for left turns.

It took a few minutes, but i sort of got the hang of it.  The physical part was easy.  The psychological part?  Whoa…

Mr. X:  Keep pedaling back there!  You don’t have any brakes, honey!  If you stop pedaling, it won’t stop the bike!

Lunch, two beers and the first half of a reasonably decent show later, we were headed back to his place.  Almost twenty miles covered. It was getting more comfortable, but giving up control was still causing me headaches.

Some advantages, though.  Conversation was easy, and we didn’t have to worry about running into each other.

Mr. X:  You’re doing great for your first time out!

daisyfae:  It’s still weird, but i’m enjoying it!  It’s different…

Mr. X:  It’s up to the Captain to keep you on the bike!  Front seat is called “Captain” and back seat is either “Stoker” or “Rear Admiral”.

daisyfae:  “Rear Admiral”.  i like that…

And i continued to enjoy the view… staring at his fine, spandex-covered ass, nestled nicely between my hands on the seat in front of me…

* In case you need a scorecard to keep track, Mr. X is the extremely fit bicycle commuter, with a body that’s built for two the physique of a gymnast. 

** Basketball.  Turns out, 49 1/2-year-old women may not be cut out for this game.  Landed hard from a lay-up and jammed the knee.  Hurts like a motherfucker sometimes.  Worst part?  Missed an easy shot.

If you don’t want the answer…

A reasonably active recreational bicyclist, i am quite comfortable with rules on the bike path.  Ride on the right, except to pass.  Signal (ie: say “on your left”) when overtaking others.  Bicyclists yield right of way to all others.

There’s also an informal set of “etiquette” guidelines.  A key frustration occurs when encountering oncoming cyclists – riding two by two.  Etiquette (if not safety) says that given the relatively narrow path, it is wise to drop into single file until clear of oncoming cyclists, and it’s safe to ride two abreast again.  Not everyone does this, and i am often found playing a gentle game of “chicken” with the cyclist failing to yield… moving out toward the center to drive them to do what is right!  Perhaps teaching them a valuable lesson.  Generally, the lesson falls mute to the asphalt, leaving me grumpy and ready to clothesline the next “violator”…

But that’s not my rant du jour…

There is also another informal rule.  When encountering other cyclists, either oncoming or from behind, it’s polite to say “Good Morning”, or “Good Day” or just “Hi”.  As a minimum, a nod of the head….  Yesterday, all was going according to the natiural order until i encountered a goober who asked the dreaded “rhetorical question in passing” – “How are you?”.

Not the fastest cyclist in the world, i was still clipping along at at 15 mph.  Does he really expect me to answer?  Am i supposed to shout a reply?  Share information about my latest gynecological issues?  An update on the “boy toy” situation?”  Let him know about Mom’s bypass surgery?

Feeling a bit crotchety, i was tempted to make a u-turn, wheel along beside him, and start telling him about my week… in graphic detail.  It’s bad enough when you pass one of these goombahs in the hallway at work, but on a BIKE?

Look, Nimrod… unless you are genuinely interested in the answer, don’t ask how i’m doing.  You’re liable to get a lot more information that you want, not to mention a swift sandal up your pasty little nerd-ass…