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.