Independence and Dependence

I find that I need more and more help with things.  When there is something I think I can do by myself, I jump at the opportunity.  For example, on Fridays I meet my friends Ron and Anne at the Buttercreek Coffee Shop in Echo for a couple hours of bluegrass, Irish and old timey music.   I know I can get my guitar into the car.    I do a good job of  driving, and I park close to the building.  I can unpack the guitar and play the afternoon away.  Although I am tired at the end of all this jamming, it’s still possible for me to pack up and drive home.  Some days like today I even stop at the little diner for a snack.

It has been concerning to me that Charlie and I have not been out on the tandem much.  He hurt his back which has taken a couple weeks to recover from and then came down with a bad spring time cold.  I have missed riding out in the countryside.  I can ride the trainer but there is just nothing like being outside.  So today, I decided to explore the possibility of the independent action which I have not done in a year at least, taking my single road bike out for a spin. 

I chose to take the Bianci bike off the trainer just because the brake set up is better than on my newer bike.  I told Charlie what I was doing, where I was going to go and set his cell phone next to where he was stretched out on the couch.  I took the bike out of the garage and wisely decided to practice getting on and off in the driveway before I walked it on the gravel out to the paved lane which would take me to the busier county road.


I was able to lay the bike down, step across the frame and pick the bike up.  That’s as far as I got because then my right foot froze.  This is a familiar phenomenon to me as it used to happen occasionally when I rode the single.   My solution came when someone would ride up next to me and then I could step right over and get my foot on the pedal. Not today.  I was by myself.  I had the bike up but the foot would not lift the few inches off the cement to get on the pedal. I worked on this for some time with no luck.  Finally I looked out across the pasture and that was enough distraction to release the hold on my foot and I succeeded.  Then I gave a couple pushes with the left  foot and as I lifted it up to the pedal my left ankle gave me some extreme pulses.  I could literally see the contraction of the muscles.  I had not seen anything like that before.  I scooted the bike back and forth across the driveway, trying to get my left foot on the pedal and go.  No Luck. I could hear Charlie’s voice  remind me  that it’s a smart person who knows when to stop and come back to it later.  So I put the bike down on the driveway.  Now I would need to step back across the frame with the right foot.  I swear, I was there at least 30 minutes trying to pick up  my right foot.  I tried moving the frame, and the wheel and the handlebars in different orientations. None helped. The foot was stuck.  Here I am in the driveway, not 25 feet from where Charlie is sitting watching the game on TV and I am stuck.  Hoping no neighbors had their telescopes out spying on me and my ridiculous situation, I kept trying. Sweaty and hot , but still in control of my emotions, I reached into my back jersey pocket for my cell phone to call Charlie.  The distraction released my foot and I was able to lift it and step it across the frame.  Oh my!

 I leaned the bike against the wall in the garage and went inside. Forty-five minutes had passed.  My face poured  sweat. I had chain grease on my leg, and looked basically like I  had been out for a ride.  “How was it” said Charlie.  “How far did you ride?”  “I didn’t even get out of the driveway” I answered and then told him what had occurred with my feet and the pedals, and what I thought I might do to work on this problem so that some day I could ride my road bike again.  He said “You are a smart woman, Carol”.

Another piece of independence lost? Or another item that just needs work.  I have to decide how badly I want to ride out by myself, or to meet up with girl friends.  It will happen, it just wasn’t happening today.

Remembering a time when I could ride out by myself.
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