Saturday, January 28, 2006

Creeping old age

I have one major problem with my wonderful bike, Buttercup.

I'm too old for her.

Don't laugh if you're reading this and you're under the age of 45. Your time will come, I swear it, with God as my witness.

I'm too stiff and my hips are no longer flexible enough to swing my leg to the rear and up to dismount her properly. Especially with the added height of the bottle cages just behind the seat.

(If you're older than 48 and actually still bicycle and don't have this problem, just close out this window in your computer and move right along. I don't want to hear your smartass comments. Uh, it's that little x in the upper right corner, techno-whiz.)

Getting on I do okay, even though I've never managed this maneuver. Actually, I've never even attempted it. Age has given me a teensy bit of wisdom.

It's the getting off part that's terrible, especially after a hard ride when my legs are tired and my back hurts. I have been forced to do this stupid-looking awkward maneuver where I tip the bike over and step off over the top tube -- which makes me feel like a conspicuous dumbass old fart every time I do it, especially when it occurs in the transition zone in a triathlon when skinnyfast triathletes are zooming past me on both sides and cursing my slowness under their breath.

BUT! I've learned a new way to dismount that I can do. If I turn and face Buttercup, I can swing my leg far enough up to the side that it manages to get over okay. It just seems to work better in that direction. Maybe I retained that from dismounting horses for many years, who knows?

I do have to consciously remember to dump all the water bottles out of the rear bottle carriers before I reach T2 in any triathlon. That extra inch or two of water bottle height could spell my downfall one day, quite literally.


Susan said...

Buttercup! What a great name . . . I'm going to tell my husband that tonight.

Brian said...

I tried the bottle cages on the back and it didnt work for me. I went back to two bottles on the frame. Especially after I kept losing bottles when I hit bumps in the road. Maybe I should come up with a name for my bike.

Wylee said...

You know I can only mount and dismount horseback style too. Why is that?

From Here to There said...

Nancy, I'm with you there. I have to come to a full stop to bring my left (must be left!) leg over the top bar. I've had race officials laugh at me. Bite-me people!!

My goal this year is to be able to do a tight corner without freaking out and walking it (missed turn concussion 2 years ago still haunts me).

You're doing awesome.