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Friday, June 11, 2010

Saddlesore in the Valley

June Delphinia

It seems there’s always a price to pay for infidelity. The cost for me was a genuine pain in the rear end. In an earlier post I waxed proudly about the make-over Gladys received courtesy of Larry at Courtesy Tire. It was her day to shine, and I didn’t want to overshadow it by bringing up the possibility of a rival.

This all came about because Larry had concerns about the gender of my Valley transportation. Now far be it from me to call Larry a chauvinist, but he seemed unsettled by my touring the Valley on a “girl’s” bike. This I deduced from his offer to perform what in essence was a sex change on Gladys: he volunteered to weld a masculine bar across Glady’s open “V” and transform my demure Miss into a Mr, from a Gladys to a Gladstone. I was shocked at this affront to Gladys’s femininity. “Nothing doing,” I said, “I’m not about to parade any transvestbike out through the Valley.” Larry shrugged and then took a different approach to the situation. Apparently a few years ago, most likely before green became “green,”Larry purchased a bike for his mechanics to ride to the automotive stores, an inexpensive and efficient way, he thought, to shuttle parts from supplier to garage. The mechanics balked and were quick to point out the problem of transporting an engine block, transmission, or exhaust system on the bike’s flimsy luggage rack. A good idea if you were in the courier business; not so  much if you were into heavy metals. The bike went home to Larry’s garage.

Not the least rebuffed by my refusal to let him tamper with Gladys’s sex, Larry decided I needed to replace her with a new bike. It was then he offered to give me the remnant of his “great idea.” I told him, no, I couldn’t be unfaithful to Gladys. That would be infidelity, I said, much worse than lusting in my heart for a sleek, shiny replacement. Gladys might be a plain Jane, I explained, but to me she’s Semper Fi. Larry persisted to the point I felt like a fool: here I was offered a ride that was practically brand new. The tires still had the little rubber feelers on them. Three sprockets and a twist grip shifter boosted Gladys’s gear capability five fold. Hand brakes that didn’t require several feet of forethought before stopping. All this and a brilliant blue paint job to boot. And for a man, a manbike. What sealed the deal, though, was Larry’s caveat that if the bike and I proved to be incompatible, I was welcome to match “Blue”with someone who could really use a bike. The next day Larry called from Courtesy Tire to tell me Blue was there. I drove in, brought him home,  wheeled him into the shed where he stayed until last Saturday.Ol' Blue

I felt I owed Larry for his gift, and making sure Gladys was tucked away unaware behind a closed garage door, I wheeled Blue out of the shed and headed for the Valley.

Immediately I noted differences in the feel of my new mount: the handlebars were lower, for one; I didn’t hold them as much as lean on them. Though shifting was a breeze, I had no idea what gear I was shifting into or out of. I could hear the clicking of the shift change but noticed no difference in leg resistance on the pedals. In fact it was like Blue was trying to outrun me. My feet couldn’t seem to keep up with the pedals. I would shift three or four gears in a row, but the pedals continued their freewheeling ways. Soon it seemed my legs were churning like windmills. What with the stress of leaning on my arms and my feet trying to keep up with the gear changes, my butt was experiencing considerable discomfort from Blue’s narrow seat. By the time I reached Tualco Grange, I was ready to cry “Uncle.” I stopped and gingerly dismounted, wheezing away from the excess exertion.

Five minutes later I headed out again, trying hard to keep up with Blue’s enthusiastic pedals. What a relief to roll into the driveway and get out of the saddle: my arms were sore; my legs were rubber; and Blue’s seat, I discovered later, had raised a blister in a very tender place. Quite a price to pay for infidelity, don’t you think? The blister, in my opinion, seemed a tad bit extreme.

Today Gladys and I rode through the Valley again. Legs and pedals once more in synch; Gladys’s handlebars worked with me and not against; and my butt welcomed the familiar terrain of Gladys’s ample seat. And Blue? He’s back in the shed. And Gladys needn’t know about my brief fling. No more philandering for this guy. It can be a real pain in the butt.

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1 comment:

  1. Poor Gladys!! To think of all the joy she's given you. She's bound to find out of your affair with Blue. You know how gossip spreads like wildfire in the Valley. This post made my evening! Picturing your windmilling feet and the bike's confused gears clicking had Avi and I laughing to tears. Loved it!!

    P.S. Tell Gladys I said 'hi'.