We’ve taken the bikes out for a few rides. My favorite memory so far is the 4th of July ride with our good friends Josh and Catherine. I was the last one out of the house. I come out to find Josh and Catherine in helmets on their mountain bikes and Penguin on his mountain bike (we still need helmets). I come out in a causal outfit for cruising on my cruiser. I was not looking the part, especially next to three people who actually looked like cyclists.
Down to the park we rode only to learn that the major walking and biking trails were closed in preparation for that night’s firework display. That’s when Julie met the likes of off-roading and the grass. Yowzers! My quads were burning. Cruisers are just that: cruisers. Thankfully, Josh, Catherine and Penguin were kind enough (and forgiving enough) to stop once we’d crossed the large open field of grass to give me a break. It was at this point that my knees started to ache from the low seat. I’m 6 feet tall… the seat was for someone in the 5’5’’ range of height. Josh, also known as MacGyver, fondly, found a random piece of litter. He dismantled my seat, took the heavy plastic piece of litter and fitted it to the bar of my seat, and reassembled it right there in the park. It was just the fix I my little bike needed! Tall and proud I rode home leading the way. The height Josh had created gave my knees just the distance they needed! Sure, it looks a little strange, but I can actually ride my bike comfortably now!
On another, different note, we love Josh and Catherine. Josh, the best man at our wedding, is Penguin’s best friend. Over the years I have seen their amazing friendship close up. It’s simple, unpresumptuous and enjoyable. Penguin and Josh have an unspoken (at least unspoken in front of me) respect for each other. I always say that besides me, Josh is Penguin’s biggest fan. Sometimes I think Josh knows Penguin’s heart better than even I do. They really get each other and they don’t have to prove it (or anything) to one another. I have always liked Josh and when I feel in love with Penguin, I felt deeply appreciative that he had someone like Josh in his life.
The first time I met Catherine, Josh’s now fiancée (to be wedded in mid-September) I was visiting Josh in San Diego. Actually, I was visiting my friend from college who also lived in San Diego and worked it out to see Josh while I was down there. I met them for breakfast at a café. I ordered delicious pumpkin pancakes, but I digress. I immediately liked Catherine. She was quiet and reserved, but kindness radiated out of her. After they moved from San Diego back to the bay area, we all saw each other more often. And after a few one on one experiences with Catherine (like surviving a drive to a bridal shower that should have taken 30 minutes but ended up being an hour and half… SO FRUSTRATING!), I have found not just an acquaintance who is the fiancée of my husband’s best friend, but a friend of my own.
At this point in life, and maybe other late-twenty-some-things can relate, I just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to waste on people that don’t matter and don’t infinitely improve my life. Catherine does, and sometimes I think we were cut from the same cloth. She is so easy to talk to and because our men are the ultimate optimists who never have an ill thing to say about anyone/thing, I find refuge in Catherine who has a similar sense of humor/honesty and likes to vent (not bitch, right…?) about the way things are. And when I was at the lowest I’ve been in my year-long battle with depression, Catherine is someone (and thanks to Lyns, Sarah, Amy, Michelle, Moma and Penguin who were also very supportive!!) I could totally open up to. I’m not sure she was ready for, expecting or happy that I did… but she was there, with an open heart and a quiet honesty about her own life that told me she will be a life long friend. And thank the good Lord for it! I feel lucky to love Josh and Catherine so much and to love being with them so much. They are family! And when Josh and Jason are out and about being busy boys, Catherine and I can sit and waste the day away doing nothing… but not even know we’re doing nothing because an hour has passed and we’ve just discovered we are basically the same person, accept I am loud and obnoxious and she’s quiet and graceful! J
All that to say, if I had to be the dorky, whiny, big girl lagging behind on a cruiser bike, at least I was with family. And, I love my bike! I still need a helmet and I want a basket for my frequent trips to the library and the grocery store, all within biking distance from our home. And some ribbon tassels or spokes noise makers would be fun too! But one thing at a time...