LOOK AT ME...I'M
8 September 2002
The sky is just beginning to get light.
In the living room, patiently waiting for me to wake up is my new Blue Angel.
The news says it's cold out--in the 50s--so I test the air. Yes, I will need a jacket,
but I know that the legs will warm up very quickly, so shorts will be OK.
I pack my camera in my backpack 'cause I might want to take pictures.
On goes the helmet, open the front door, and out onto the bike path.
This was going to be the day to test my new blue angel. Last night I rode it downtown
to a show I was reviewing and left Walt in the dust. The thing fairly flew down the
streets and I arrived at the theatre long before he showed up, breathing heavily and
complaining about how fast I'd gone.
Fast. Me. Two words you'd never dream would be compatible.
We saw the play (mediocre) and then I sped off for home. When we arrived here, he was
breathing hard again and checked to see how I was. I hadn't even broken a sweat. The Blue
Angel deserves the name--it flies as if it has wings.
So I knew she would do speed. How would she and I do hills?
First was easy--the little hillocks at the park. Didn't even have to shift down from
highest gear to do those. Then came "the horrible overpass" that I'd conquered
on the Specialized a few weeks back. Piece o'cake. I won't say it wasn't a workout to get
over it, but I didn't have to go down to old lady gear to do it.
Stopped at the office to pick up work and to leave my jacket, which by now was soaked
I saw that Dr. G had given me all of the parts of his book which have so far been
written and could see that re-running them, as he wants them re-run is going to take a
full ink cartridge and I knew that what I had in my printer now wouldn't make it. I
decided to see if Office Max was open.
There are two ways to get to Office Max from my office. I could either go the long way,
over the bike crossing I knew I could handle, or I could go over the even more horrible
overpass, the one I knew that I would never ever be able to go over. What the hell. I have
an angel under me...let's give it a try.
It was an inauspicious beginning. Figuring I would have to go to my very lowest gear, I
shifted down to first gear on the left but it didn't quite catch in the sprockets and I
found myself pedaling against nothing. The chain had come off. Swell. What do I do now?
Hey--I am woman. Hear me roar. I don't need a mechanic. I will become a mechanic.
So I examined the bike--yes, I think I can do this. I put the chain back. I got on the
bike and it fell off again.
I will not call for help.
This time I turn the bike over to get a better angle, I get more aggressive with the
chain, and it seems to stick. I ride around a bit on the flat and it holds. It's time to
attack the hill again.
I start up...up...up. I'm pumping for all I'm worth and then I rememeber what Haggie
told me--you don't have to build momentum. Slow and steady is the way to go. Sit back and
let your legs do the work. I slow down and let my legs do the work and before I know it,
I'm at the top of the hill I would never ever be able to ride over, and zooming down the
I'm flying on the back of an angel.
Office Max is not, after all, open, so I decide to explore South Davis, finding spots I
never knew existed--a lovely greenbelt which is right in the middle of things, but so
secluded, it's like riding out in the woods. Just lovely. Oddly enough, it ends directly
in front of Dr. G's house (but he is not about).
Time to head back. How do I want to go? Well, over a hill, of course. There's only one
big one I hadn't done yet today and that's the bike overcrossing, but I know I can do
that--I've done it before. Up and over. Zipping down the other side, I realized that the
sun is casting a shadow on the ground below and I look lik the figure on my desktop
The rest is easy. Flat all the way, and I average 12-13 mph, pulling into the carport
about 10½ miles after I started. It wasn't quite the same as riding all the way out to
Winters for oatmeal, but it gave the Blue Angel a good test, it gave the Blue Angel's
rider a good test, and we both passed.
I discovered I have to get a water bottle mount (with no back basket, I'm using a
backpack now and there's really no easy place to put water). The Specialized has a water
mount, but it's totally inaccessible when you're riding, so I almost never use it. This
bike, however, has a bar that makes water easy to get when you're riding, so that will be
added on Monday as well as a rear view mirror, which I forgot to buy when they were
outfitting the bike. My peripheral vision is so bad that I really need to be able to have
a mirror to see behind me.
But I would say that I am very, very happy with my new purchase. I expect that she and
I will cover a lot of ground together.