Bike Shorts

I love my bike. I love riding in Cambridge. Cars don’t scare me anymore. And with my new bell, I can warn all the pregnant ladies to stay to the sidewalk. When my family lived in Manchester, NH for a few of my grade-school years I had the awesomest bike. I remember everything about it. Dad bought it for me at a yard sale. Painted a bright shade of purple, it had white striped detailing and a big “S” on the seat. “S, for Swanson,” Dad told me. “Or speedy.” The seat broke during one of my explorations. It fell off, and I had to ride home standing up with the seat under my arm. I was miserable about it, and I demanded that I come to the repair shop to rescue my mended bike. I didn’t recognize it at first – they replaced the Swanson seat with a huge, rust-colored, velvet-upholstered, banana seat.

On the afternoons I didn’t want to go to my after-school sitter, I would sneak home, climb the stairs up to the third floor porch, pry open the screen on the kitchen window, push up the glass and squeeze through the window, tumbling onto the kitchen floor. Then I would liberate my bike, and zoom around the neighborhood. My eastern boundary was the elementary school. To the north, I’d go no further than the park, where I’d stop and climb up onto the stone lions flanking the entrance, or shimmy up one of the crabapple trees and suck on the sour fruit. The furthest south I’d travel was to the candy store. Prob just a convenience store, but it was the place where I could get those boxed candies for a dime — lemonheads, baked beans, and candy cigarettes.

Today I bike to the Bread and Circus and to work. Summer skirts now fall into two categories: bike-friendly and bike-unfriendly — not by length, or how likely the skirt will fly up into my lap and display my underwear to pedestrians and drivers, but by ease of movement. Can I sit on the seat and move the pedals up and down? Yes? Great. Today I’m wearing a short sleeve shirt dress with a slit up the front. No problems pedaling, but I was thankful for my slip. I suppose I’m not revealing any more than those dudes with the short spandex bike shorts. Right?

Oh! We leave tomorrow morning for Orlando. I didn’t cancel produce delivery this week. I will be the only person ever to bring oranges to Florida. Some things I won’t bring, and while they’ll probably survive until Sunday afternoon, let me know if you want me to leave spinach, zucchini, grapefruit or a cantaloupe on the porch for you. While you’re there, you can check if a (late, late, too late for Florida) package arrived for me. The package does not contain a new pair of shoes.

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