My hip is bruised, my calf is scarred, and my whole body aches,
but I will get to that in a minute. When my friend turned to me
the other day and stated, "The Daffodil Classic is next weekend
and we should go." I had no idea what he was talking about. But
since I'm always up for anything I thought it would be fun!

The Daffodil Classic is an "organized event." What I found out
was that organized events are ones in which a few hundred
(crazy) people get together to sit in a bicycle seat for hours on
end, ride around in a very large circle, and stop at little "rest
stops" that have been set up along the way for water and snacks.
The snacks are the best part!

The Daffodil Classic has been around since the 1970s and it
starts in Orting, Washington. Orting is in a middle of a beautiful
valley a few miles east of Tacoma. Here's the funny thing about a
valley: it's surrounded by mountains. I'm not exactly sure why I
was so oblivious to the fact that the route would, at some point,
LEAVE THE VALLEY! But my friend told me I was ready for the
40-mile ride and I didn't even THINK to question him.

Sure enough, about 30 miles in, after conquering what I thought
was the worst of it, a GIANT mountain loomed in my path! And I
didn't see it until I rounded the corner and I was in the wrong
gear, AGAIN! I was determined to make it to the top and thank
goodness there was a little flat spot about half way up where I
was able to drop into the right gear, but it was too late by that
point because at the top
I was completely out of energy.

I came to a stop and tried to clip out of my pedals. TRIED,
because I was completely unsuccessful. Sure enough I went
down. Again. In slow motion, the bike tipped and down I went
with it. (I love the way your feet automatically release from the
pedals AFTER you hit the ground.) As soon as I hit the ground
my head bounced off the concrete. I sat up immediately to try to
save face and said to all the onlookers, "I'm ok." But clearly I
wasn't because then I collapsed back to the ground with
absolutely no energy left. I just laid there. I was so embarrassed
because of course there were about 20 other riders stopped in the
same place taking a break. Too bad I was the only one laying on
the ground.

It took about 10 minutes before I even wanted to attempt
standing. Another ten, after that, before I was ready to get back in
the saddle.

There are times in your life when you just want to bury your
head under a rock. But, since that isn't possible we can only
press on and pretend it never happened. So I did and what I
didn't know, as I continued on the last 10 miles, was that the
back of my calf was torn up and bleeding, shouting to everyone I
passed, "Hey, look, this girl fell off her bike!"

Until next time…happy riding!
Learning to Ride a Bike at 32
Lesson #2
Clean Yourself Up-
Deirdre Gurry
Copia Magazine
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