When asked about my bike, I tell people that she is a pleasing shade of teal, with a clever wicker basket that I can take into the grocery store and clip back on to the front of my bike. She has a very wide and padded seat and my bike helmet, which I wear faithfully is exactly the same shade of teal as my bike.
When bike people* ask me for more detail, say information about brands, or the type of shocks or how many speeds she has, I look at them over my glasses and smarten up my cardigan and tell them that my bike is named Lois. It stops the conversation in its tracks, which is exactly what I intended. There is not much you can say to a middle-aged spinster who named her bike Lois.
It’s a curious thing – I have a great many friends who are *bike people. They are the sort of people who own bikes worth more than my first car. I have a friend who is a family of 3 and, no word of a lie, the last time I counted, there were 15 bikes in his garage. I have friends who bike to work in snowstorms, exhorting the benefits of healthy exercise and bracing cold. I have friends who have bikes for various purposes, I think perhaps like I have seven different frying pans, because they do different things. Still, while I understand the theory of bikes for different purposes, Lois and I go to the Italian Centre (the small size of the basket limits cheese impulse purchasing), the drug store, and the library. Sometimes we bike to neighbourhood events, but only if it’s not going to rain, or we won’t be out after dark. Lois is not the sort of brave bike that has lights for after dark. She is the modest companion of a modest spinster.
All of this to say, she turned 10 today. I need to go to the drug store to mail a birthday card, so I think I’ll take her for a spin.
If you wanted, you can read about the day I got her here: The Wind in Your Hair