I like bicycles, so much that most people who know me identify that interest as part of who I am. When I relax, when I exercise, it almost always involves a bicycle. Many times over the years, friends think of me when they have a question about a bicycle they are buying, when they need an old bicycle fixed/refurbished, or simply when they start to enjoy bicycling themselves. Many times, bicycles are the first impression people have of me. Right now, I have a bicycle in my garage that a friend asked me to fix up for him — and it’s almost ready after one day. I just need to look at the shift cables and make some adjustments. The price for fixing up his bicycle is that he must go for a ride with me when I deliver it back to him. His wife is very pleased with me, as well as her husband for taking the initiative to ask me to help.
After one year of living in my condo, my neighbors have become accustomed to the sight of me working on bicycles in my garage. Usually, I set up my portable workstand out in the front of the parking bay where there is more light and where there is a breeze, my music playing lightly on the old stereo I have set up out there. The community I live in is nestled into a quiet little valley next to a river, hidden away. Each evening, my neighbors stroll by as they walk their dogs or get their exercise. Many hang out on the drive in front of their building. Most stop to say hello, ask about the bike I am working on, or to ask about how things are going. A few stop by with their bicycle to ask me to help adjust a seat or to check out an issue the bike is having. It’s a good way to get to know my neighbors, something I really enjoy.
Last night, as I was working on my friend’s bicycle, one of my neighbors stopped by with her bicycle. If I said that I am not interested in getting to know Lisa a little bit better, I would be fibbing. She caught my attention last year and we have light conversation occasionally as she passes by or if I see her at the pool. At a condo party last summer, we teamed up for a bags tournament and won. Lisa is fun, easy to talk to, a tall blonde, pretty. Had she not been so guarded and my marital status still not finalized, I think I would have pursued her last year. As it was, I just couldn’t get enough to gauge whether she was interested or not. I thought that maybe she wasn’t available. I needed to know more about her story. Lately, she has stopped by for a little longer each time, shared quite a bit more about herself, enough that it is obvious she wants me to know she is available. As I adjusted the seat height on her bicycle last night, she asked how I keep my garage so tidy and in order, how it is not filled to the brim with things. Didn’t you bring a lot of things over from your house after the divorce? I know I did. I took the opportunity to purge in more ways than one, I explained, plus a lot of the things on my garage shelves are things I am storing for my daughter. Can’t your ex wife store things for her? Where does she live? Do you have a friendly relationship with her? More questions, answered easily. I was happy to tell her that my ex and I have an amicable relationship — I think that gives a good impression. It’s not quite that way with my ex, even after so many years. She wants me to know more about her, I can see.
What will come of Lisa is yet to be seen. Nothing, maybe. Even one date could be playing with fire, risky seeing someone who lives within a few seconds walking distance. That could also be a good thing. One of the reasons my Saturday night friend is a question mark is that she is only available on Saturday evenings. Either way, learning to navigate the female friend waters is proving to be interesting. Honestly, after 25 years of marriage, I thought that I would no longer be attractive or interesting to the opposite sex. Learning that is not exactly true is a challenge, a bit intimidating, but as I said it is interesting.
Here is what is also not what I expected — I thought that the woman who would be most appealing to me is one who is a cycling enthusiast. What I am finding is that someone who falls into that category is a bit too enthusiastic about riding! My Saturday night friend went for a short ride with me last weekend, thoroughly enjoyed herself. It was a casual stroll through the woods close to my place, breathtaking since it was close to dusk. I enjoyed watching her smile as she rode, genuinely happy to be riding with me. She has long black hair, prettier when it was flowing lightly behind her. It set the tone for the evening, helped me see a part of her that I was delighted to see.
Bicycle friendly is taking on a whole new meaning for me!