So, that led me to consider the mode of transportation that, while not practical in rain or snow, was still available to me – after modifications:
Meet Coco, my bike. I call it Coco because, well, its name is the Forge Coco Women’s Beach Cruiser.
I bought this shortly after receiving my first check from disability, in 2011, for $149 (costs considerably more today). I assembled it, got a few other things like a helmet and a lock, took it outside to my lawn in the backyard, hopped on, and…
…ok, I was going to post a video clip of Arte Johnson (comedian) doing his Laugh-In skit of falling off his tricycle, because what happened to me brought that to mind. But alas, I couldn’t find the clip.
“Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In” was a comedy/variety TV show that ran from 1967-73, and started the careers of people like Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin.
Suffice to say, I got on the bike, pedaled a few times, and the bike went down with me on it. I probably would have fallen off, but my leg got tangled in the frame tubes (and one of the reasons I chose this bike was because I thought I could easily swing my leg over it, hmph).
I tried a few more times, with the same result. I was crestfallen and feeling pretty embarrassed.
I wrote bike forums and asked people for advice. Most said to “just keep trying”, and “on asphalt”. Really? So I can really injure myself?? Yes, I realize that grass is not the ideal surface for bike riding, but now I am so scared of falling there is no way I am getting on concrete.
So Coco has been hanging out in the hall by the front door for 4 years now. I tried to sell it once, when my son lived here and we were flat broke and needed food, but not even his church friends would buy it, even new and at half-price.
Oh those Episcopalians! So helpful in their charity!
Anyway, since I have started my walking thing, and promptly did something to my knee that is still causing me to hobble, I had to re-think the bike. That, combined with the realization that I will probably never again have a car, and that I have to get around to more places without spending more money…
Well. Time to solve the bike problem.
And then it came to me – training wheels. Yes, the last time I had training wheels, I was 7 years old. But I was able to learn to ride a bike then, so, why not now too? So, I looked on Amazon.
I found these “stabilizer wheels”. These are wheels that are smaller than regular bike wheels, but bigger than conventional training wheels.
They cost $168. That’s more than my bike cost, and may as well be $1,000,68, because I cannot afford that.
A further check of Amazon revealed training wheels that are the size of what you’d expect, but heavy-duty, and to fit adult bikes. The lowest-priced set is $60.
I have $30 in Amazon gift certificates, so far. Now all I have to do is come up with the balance. I am hoping I can do that with next month’s disability check.
Nancy downstairs has already assured me she will help me put them on – no doubt because she doesn’t want to hear the wailing and crying I will do if I have to figure it out myself (I am not at all mechanically inclined).
(You should have heard me when I was assembling the bike. It took a week, 3 calls to the manufacturer, and a LOT of crying. Yes, husbands really are good for some things, and if I ever marry again I will be sure to be more appreciative of his ability – whoever he may be – to fix and assemble things.)
This won’t solve all my problems, such as getting to the doctor on short notice, or getting the cat to the vet if one of my furry pals gets sick, or even getting around in inclement weather. And of course, I can’t pedal to Atlanta or Memphis.
But it’s a start. A start to getting healthier, dealing effectively with my peripheral neuropathy, losing weight, lowering blood pressure, and perhaps being able to ride to the local small grocery store (which is about a mile away).
I am just grateful I have any options at all. Many people do not.
Today’s weirdness – as if Julie Baker’s nonsense isn’t weird enough – comes from UPI, entitled “Bleating Beauties: Lithuania Village Holds Goat Pageant”. The winner was a goat named Marce. According to her owner:
“It wasn’t hard to prepare for the contest. The goat Marce does everything at home, you know, come and see, how she scales the barriers, walks the beam. I set her free, and tell her to dance and she dances.”
A beautiful, barrier-scaling, beam-walking, dancing goat. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Recommendations? I haven’t a one, sorry. Oh except I do want to see “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” when it comes out to the theaters, if I can. Granted, Armie Hammer (“Ilya Kuryakin”) is no David McCallum, but he’ll do.
Oh I had such a crush on David McCallum in 1964! I was 8 years old.
And you know what? I watch Mr. McCallum on “NCIS”, and I still think he’s one of the sexiest men alive – at age 81.
Be good. Be kind. May you live to be a sexy 81 and beyond.