Betty Duffy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Profile: old men on bikes

There are a lot of them in our town, and by and large, I find them rather cute. My 80 year-old next door neighbor invited us over one day to get a closer look at his new three wheeled moped. He’d put a checkered flag decal under the windshield, and bungeed a crate on the back so that he can drive it to Walmart and buy milk. When he drives by, he beeps his little horn.

There are a couple of farmers, I would guess they are widowed, or maybe their wives are after them to improve their health. They ride together single file on old fashioned bikes with upright handle bars, both of them dressed in wranglers and cowboy boots with stiff-billed agro-corn baseball caps.

There’s a bicycling group in town that meets at the park across the street to unload their ten-speeds from their bike-racks and tour the country roads. These are the suburban guys who used to be in shape, maybe making a last go on that belly before all is lost. They dress in spandex shorts and neon tops and do stretches before they put on their helmets. Not the cutest dudes on bikes (they shave their legs, for heaven’s sake, as though it’s going to make a difference on wind resistance when they’re carting around twenty pounds of gut), but they crack me up anyway.

This is not a local profile, but I did have a recurring nightmare when I was in grade school that when the school bus dropped me off at home, my dad would be standing in the driveway wearing bike shorts. It was worse than the nightmare of walking into my classroom without pants.

There are always a number of older men riding bikes who have most likely had DUIs. You know them because they are not enjoying their bikes.

I’m not sure if it counts as a bike because it’s really more of a motorized wheelchair that looks like a scooter, but there’s an old man who drives his moto-chair-scooter thing on the road. It moves maybe one mph faster than a pedestrian so he’s put a raised yellow flag on the back to indicate that he’s a slow-moving vehicle. I love it when I find myself behind him on the road, especially when I’m late picking up my kids.

I guess that's all I have to say about old men on bikes. But this song does comes to mind:

My favorite part is at 1:26

Also, this:


Otepoti said...

The reason male cyclists shave their legs is so that, when they come off their bikes and get gravel rash, the leg hair doesn't get in-grown. So I believe.

Mind bleach? Certainly. Borrow some of mine.

Bill White said...

Here in east central Illinois, the DUIs jockey their riding lawn mowers down the street. At least I assume they're DUIs.

BettyDuffy said...

Otepoti, You're right. I just did a quick google search and found this:

Very enlightening. Pass the bleach.