Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

August 22, 2013

ABBOTT: Fat chicks need bike rides, too

(Continued)

The long way is worth it, any time of year. But, the best time of year to ride a bike on campus is the autumn. Past the old library and the East Quad building, past the Ad Building, past Benny and Lucina Hall, and down a small hill to the West Quad. That 10-minute ride is forever etched in my mind, like a tiny jewel I can pick up again and feel the smooth edges.

I’m longing to recreate those feelings in the present. Walking bores me and I have a bad knee, so it can always hurt. Riding a bicycle at my level, in theory, should not mess up my knee more.

We went to the second-hand shop, because I thought buying a bike on the cheap was smart before I spend the big bucks on a fat-tired cruiser with senior citizen seat and handlebars.

The first bike was blue, just like my college one. It had fat tires and 26-inch wheels.

Something really strange happened to the bar on the bike since the 1970s. It seems to be a lot higher. The mount was challenging. My husband suggested I try to approach the bike from the back. Not a good idea. And it looked pretty ridiculous.

Somehow I got on, but my feet didn’t touch the ground. So, I’m also getting shorter. Seriously, I’m about half an inch shorter than I was in college. Scary. The second bike, which was a used Schwinn for $30, was so lightweight that I didn’t bother to get on, or try to get on. The tires were thin and I was afraid the earth would open up and swallow the bike and me, if I got on.

Lesson learned: I will be getting a new bike. I found a website, Fat Broads on a Bike, that offered tips for larger women who want to ride.

I’m going to keep looking. With my helmet on, I’ll be the cutest chick on the river trail sometime soon.

Amy McVay Abbott is a freelance journalist and author of “The Luxury of Daydreams.” She can be reached at amymcvayabbott@gmail.com.

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