As many of you know, I am a 365-day-a-year cyclist. I ride rain or shine, and in a variety of different outfits and heel heights. As you may imagine, some outfits and heel heights work better than others. Generally, any heel higher than two inches requires a slower cycling speed. Skirts ought not to be too full or too short. Certain styles of closed jackets don’t work at all because they hook themselves over the back of my bike seat and anchor me there, especially if the fabric has no give. I generally wear coats and jackets with snaps rather than zippers for this reason. Just in case you’re wondering, my bike is a Holland-style ladies’ bike and has a skirt guard across the back wheel, so I can mount and dismount without any leg swinging that might flash my underwear.
Anyway, I believe I detect some curiosity about my new dress and its undeserved fate. I found a wonderful, flattering, ankle length black dress that not only made me look ten pounds lighter, but it was also on sale! It’s a scoop-neck tank style up top and is cut in a long, narrow sheath with filmy layers that hang in angles. The bottom of the dress ends in points, rather than a straight hem. The fabric has a lot of stretch. Every time I wore it, I got compliments. Sigh.
It had been a long time since I rode a bike in a skirt of such a length, and for some reason I forgot to tie it up in a knot around my knees. I was on my way to Starbucks, laptop in bike basket, happily anticipating my Americano. The first few blocks passed uneventfully. Then something rather unfortunate happened. Right in the middle of an intersection, I felt one of the points on the hem of my dress catch on my left bike pedal. The light was going to change in about ten seconds, so I couldn’t very well dismount in the middle of the intersection and unhook it— I had no choice but to keep going until I was out of the way of traffic. The pedals went round long enough to get me to the side of the road, but by that time, my dress had been pulled so tight I could barely get off the bike to address the problem.
A passing couple took pity on my plight and stopped to assist me. They held my bike up while I got off the seat and crouched down to unwind my dress from the pedal stem. The hem and the bike pedal refused to be parted, so I had to tear the bottom of my lovely dress . I felt like such an idiot. My two helpers were very nice, however, and refrained from questioning my judgment in choosing to ride a bike in an outfit like that. I resolved not to mention my adventure to my husband, since it would have earned me a lecture, and hey, would he really be happier knowing his wife did such a foolish thing? I think not.
As the first paragraph of this post was intended to convey, I’m an experienced cyclist and therefore should have known better. I was lucky and I know it. Now that long skirts and dresses are back in fashion, I have a few more items in my wardrobe that are of a similar length to the dress I wrecked. I always knot them around my knees now. If any of you guys are likely to ride a bike in a dress this summer, be smarter than I was!
By the way, and on a totally different subject, I am going to post chapter 28 of Justice this evening. I don't know if anyone out there still wants to read it because it has been so long since I updated. I absolve you all, meaning that I have no expectations that anyone will care at this late date. But it will go up, and then Chapter 29 will follow in about ten days. I am determined to finish it, even if all I can do is write 100 words a day.