Woah Mule, Woah!
Finally had a roadworthy bike this afternoon. There'd been a problem with the back tyre (first it was overinflated so that the tyre wall had popped out the wheel rim, then I deflated it too far and it was unrideable) and this afternoon I had the brainwave of going down to the bike place on the Quay and asking for help. Once it was sorted, I took to the road. Alphington Road. It's one of the very busy arterial roads of Exeter, leading out of the city towards the coast and the South Hams. Even on Sunday it is busy as it also leads to one of the two big industrial estates full of DIY stores. In London it would be a red zone. Doing my first bit of on-road cycling for ten years on this is like learning to swim when your ship goes down in the Atlantic: you've got to get the hang of it right away or you're dead. Luckily, I instantly remembered the joys of just missing drains, looking over your shoulder and not wobbling. Got to the supermarket flush with success and only one instance of riding on the pavement (the junction into the industrial estate is scary). I was umming and ahhing about coming back along hilly Cowick Lane when I realised I could take a flat route back. It's not the quickest way to walk, but on a cycle it would be fastest and has the bonus of ending up being on the right side of my street for my house.
Gods, I'd forgotten how much fun riding a bike is. Yeah, the traffic is alarming (thank you to idiot who turned the corner too tightly so I ended up stopping) and my bike needs some tweaks (like adjusting the angle of the back brake lever so gripping it is natural) but overall, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I wore my cowgirl shirt, on account of it being pale and therefore more visible, and also because I've decided this much faster bike should be called Woah, Mule, Woah! since it is the successor of Faster Mule! Yah! Yah!. Also, we saw Brokeback Mountain last night and I'm still unpicking what I think of it today. Based on the number of looks I got in the supermarket, a lot of people have seen the gay cowboy movie and were therefore making assumptions about cowgirls too.