I Know-I Have A Problem

Without no fanfare whatsoever  they glided by me.

Two younger guys on road bikes.  Dressed in their bike riding gear and riding expensive bikes.  Not so much as a ‘how do you do’.   Though I do give them credit for yelling “left” as they came up on my left.  That’s good manners right there.

I am currently in love with single speed bikes.  I’ve got no gears to get fancy with.  And it’s a fat tire bike.

Which means it’s heavier, slower and it takes more energy to ride in some situations.  To go fast on this bike, compared to a road bike, is a little bit different.  It’s just not made as well for that.  But I like riding it to get a different work out than my other bike(s).  It’s fun.  It’s no stress.  Just pedal it.  Enjoy it.  It makes me slow down when I normally want to go until I stop.  It lets me pay a little bit more attention to the world I want to see.

My husband was behind me a ways so I slowed down until he caught up with me.  He knows me well.   He immediately pointed out the guys who had passed me.   We talked some smack about the two guys.  They made sure to pass me.  But then remained in our sight for somewhere between five and six miles.

There was a day when I could never, ever, have let someone else pass me on a bike and not see what that was all about.

That day was today.

I know.

I have a problem.

But having twenty five years on those twenty somethings just meant I had more miles of energy stored up.  Am I right?

I thought so.

So for those five or six miles I just kept them in my forward sights while I chatted comfortably with my husband.  At times I could only see them by the bright white of one of their jerseys appearing as a far away speck against the dark green of the foliage.  And before my brain knew what was happening, my legs took over.  I just kept going faster.  And faster.   Steadily increasing my speed.  I can’t walk up the three flights of steps at work without nearly passing out.  But I can pedal for extended periods of time and manage to sing while I’m doing it.

I caught up to them.

I pulled up to them and just turned to see if my husband was anywhere in sight to have seen I did it.

I had no intention of passing them.  I didn’t want to embarrass them.   For real.  I didn’t.  Suddenly the guy riding on the far left looked over at me and started to pull over in front of his buddy, who was in front of me.   I smiled at him and said “no no, I’m not going to pass you, I just wanted to prove to myself I could catch you”.

You know what the fella said?

“Haha, well, we weren’t really going very fast.”

I chuckled and said “fast enough for this single speed”.    He glanced over his shoulder and saw the beautiful bike I was on.   I think he was embarrassed.   For real.

I sat up and slowed down.   Let them pull away.

When my husband caught up to me the very arrogant me asked if he had gotten a picture.   He said no.  I was so happy I didn’t care.  We saw them again at a road crossing where the pavement disappeared and they had to cross gravel.

I’m a little ashamed of what I did next.   As we passed them clipping back in to their fancy (and beautiful I might add) bikes I followed my husband who was riding his three wheeled cruising bike.  I couldn’t help it.  I threw my husband completely under the bus.  As we passed I said “I had to wait on him”.

We took off and didn’t see them again.

Yes, I know they were likely out for a leisurely ride.   It’s probably not a story at all from their side of it.  And you can be assured that as the years go on from here the story will be embellished from this side.  But today, these are just the facts.  And I joyfully accept my arrogance on this occasion.

41 thoughts on “I Know-I Have A Problem

  1. You proved something to yourself and that is all. No drama, no hurtful comments or smart ass ha ha I caught up to you. Be proud that you achieved it and you all went on your merry way, with them probably blushing with embarrassment at your wonderful achievement! xx


    • 🙂 It was fun. I was so elated. I don’t get to ride outside as much as I want. So when I actually get to hit the road/trail I worry I am not able to do what I once did. Yesterday was reaffirming that if we work hard at something it does pay off (I ride my bike on a trainer in the house every day when I can’t ride outside). It just felt good.


  2. You are one competitive lady. I am only like that in the pool. Even if i need an ambulance, if I want to stay ahead of someone I will, so I totally get this. I can only imagine what you were like as a child!


  3. I cannot get the image of you two talking smack about them out of my head!
    You left out a part….
    There was a time when u passed a very great and awesome rider. This rider was so smoothe on the bike one would stop in awe. But one day, after about 60 miles of riding, u passed this fearless rider, without strain, singing loudly and waving your fingers in the air to the beat of the music…
    What was that song you belted out as u passed her ….?

    And u had a smirk … Cannot forget the ismirk


  4. I do think it is a story on the other side, Colleen. I think those very nice bicycles and expensive riding clothes are now for sale on craigslist. You schooled them. They were not out for a leisurely ride, and you and your fat tires single-speeded their sorry skinny 12-speeds …

    I am a dreamer, too, sometimes.

    I think it’s good that you maintain that edge doing things so close to your heart. Why give that up? As long as you’re not pushing it into the danger zone or embarrassing somebody to tears. (See Anonymous above, apparently.)

    In my youth, I chose a fat-tired Murray single-speed American handle-bar touring bicycle, right through my teen years, while all my friends bent over madly pedaling their English Racers (that’s what we called them back then after trading up from the motorcycle handlebars of Sting Rays) because for me, riding my bike was to get to my buddy’s house or school or to the mall or the beach … or after we all got our drivers licenses, just ride round and round my neighborhood and smell the Long Island air. I knew I wasn’t ever going to be the fast one, and didn’t much worry about that.


    • I love your bike choice of youth Mark. When I was little I had the little kids bike. But my teens and young adult life was not bike involved. That came later. And of course I had to work up to the road racing bike. Which I still enjoy riding. But when I sat on a single speed again for the first time after decades of not…..it was magic. I look forward to the day when I use my bike as my main mode of transport.

      And “Anonymous” above is actually relating a true story. But doesn’t tell it all. She did a fine job herself that day. 😉 But she won’t say so.

      And like you suggest, why do I have to let go of this? I think keeping the edge of something that means so much to us is very important. I believe that we only lose what we don’t use and don’t care to maintain. I care!!! I care!!!


  5. I say good for you. If (big IF) I were to ever ride again, it would be for leisure and personal gain. Good for those who want the big tech stuff, but tried and true is what works for you then just do it! 🙂


  6. This is such a fun and inspiring post, CM, and it sounds like a really fun ride. Good job passing those guys on your fat tire bike! I may have to stop thinking of my hybrid as slow, and see what it can do. Or rather, what I can do. 🙂


  7. Colleen, LMBO I do see the story when it is told 20 years from now. It will go from the little engine that could, to super woman on a a bike LOL LOL. How you had to chase them down and all. It will be so cute, and it will be true as you remember it 20 yrs from now or maybe 30 or maybe 40, like some of my sotries from the wayback machine. But having said that i truly understand the importance of you sharing it today, in it’s truest from. And I love that you did it with a 1 speed bike. Pedal on my dear friend Pedal on. Take care, Bill


    • Hahahaha! I will have to get a jersey to go with that Supermwoman story!!!! 🙂

      I shall pedal as fast as I can! And some days, maybe not so fast, but determined and consistent. As long as I get to pedal.


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