Summer Family Time, Disaster!
One of Brent's new favorite things lately has been riding on the back of Will's bike. They enjoy it so much that yesterday Will sent me to the store to buy myself a bike so we could all ride together. I don't know much about bikes, and when I got home with my pretty new Crayon blue street bike with the white wheel wells and pinstriping and wide comfy padded seat, he commented while he installed Gigi's childseat, "You should have bought a mountain bike. The hills are really tough."
Fast forward 30 minutes or so and all four of us were out and ready to ride! I found out real quick -- about two laps around the block -- he was completely right, and chugging up the hills without an 18-speed bike was kicking my butt. I said, "Let's stop circling and go down to the pond and back so at least we get a fun ride out of it before I collapse. I can walk the bike back if I have to." I disastrously forgot that the hills just get steeper in that direction, and that street bicycles don't have great brakes.
Fast forward about 2 minutes and Gigi and I were buried in a tangle of thorny vines at the foot of the hill on Faylin, right where it meets Applegate at a nice, sharp, 90 degree turn. Ouch. :(
To be a little more detailed, Gigi was in her child seat, resting on a bed of thorns and crying, and I was under the bike with the top half of my body hanging over the lip of a miniature cliff (not a dangerous fall, but a very steep incline curving down about 3 feet to a different level of ground, so still a drop), my weight held up by my left hand mashed down on a bunch of thorns and by what felt like a thorny vine wrapped around my neck. I tried to reach for Gigi but discovered that if I moved my left hand I would slide down the cliff and if I tried to scoot myself away from the cliff the vine around my neck bit into my skin. And Gigi cried on.
Will got there pretty quickly and struggled for a couple of minutes with trying to get my bike and Gigi upright again while holding up his own bike, because Brent is too heavy an off-balancer for the kickstand to work. He did his best, but his bike and Brent both fell over into the fortunately softer grass next to the street a couple of times. Meanwhile, I was yanking with my right hand at the vine I'd found behind my head, tangled in my hair. After enough yanks to really get some burning pain around my neck, I realized the vine was actually caught up in my necklace and I was sawing at my own skin with the (very strong) gold chain. I got that untangled, finally, and got poor Will to give me a hand up so I could get my left hand out of the nest of thorns and help with the bikes and, by this point, both crying children.
I trudged the three blocks home pushing Gigi on the bike, limping on a badly bruised left hip, and like Gigi, covered from my face to my feet in angry red welts and scratches and dripping blood from various thorn punctures, with Will and Brent eying me sympathetically. Will couldn't offer me his bike so he could push because I can't reach the ground from his bike seat, but he did bathe Gigi while I took a shower, and then he drove to the CVS for some Neosporin.
Today, Gigi and I both look like we got tossed into a barrel full of angry cats and I'm avoiding my usual Monday trip to my father's apartment so that I don't have to hear the lecture about being careful with my baby. At least scratches heal pretty quickly and the puffy bruising on my hip is easy to hide.
I don't think Gigi and I will be joining Will and Brent on their evening rides again!