Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Want to Ride My Bicycle!

The wind whipped my slightly feathered, middle-parted bowl cut as I coasted speedily down Union Street on my 12-speed. I felt triumphant and exhilarated after a long awaited make out sesh with Carla Gresham. It was the summer before my sophomore year. My driver's license wouldn't be until the following year but at least the bike could get me around for the time being. Things were looking up.

If my bike ride was an episode from The Hills, "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas would be playing in the background as I smiled and head bobbed to the beat. Although I'd also probably be text messaging on an iPhone while driving a BMW suv without a license.

Unfortunately, my moment of euphoria was short lived. A brake handle became detached from the handlebars, which eventually lodged into the spokes of the right front tire. Several facial abrasions and an undiagnosed concussion later, I had to explain to my parents why I disobeyed their order not to pedal the 8 mile return leg from Manch to Hooksett after dark.

Now fast forward to a few weeks ago when I bought a used ("burns my fingers" hot) mountain bike off Craigslist from a shady dude in a Dorchester basement. During one of my subsequent commutes home from work, the post-frenching wipeout of 1991 flashbacked in my head and my thoughts eventually moved to G-sizzle. I think my inner monologue went something like this:

"That kiss was still so worth the wreck. Yeah, I must have been what - 15? Probably... Hmm, where was Carla's dad when the business was going down? (Downshifting as the road inclines.) What the hell am I gonna do if I catch some pumpkin haired teenager sucking face with my little girl? I mean, I don't want to deprive her of innocent teenage rites of passage. I like to think that I'm on the progressive side, but what is too much freedom?... And what about the blatant disobedience of my parents for the sake of a crush? What kind of stunt is G gonna pull that will make me cringe?... Man, this hill goes on forever. I'm definitely sweating through my shirt by now... At least I have a long time to develop a game plan... Hey, maybe I should get one of those bike cabooses so that Greta and I can ride around together."

So on that note, I look to you readers, fellow parents, and anyone who accidentally found themselves on this page. Any good or bad experiences on child seat/attachment-thingies to a bike, out there? If so, what brand and model?

And while you're at it - do you turn a blind eye to frenching under your roof, because at least you know you can find a lame excuse to enter the living room at any moment? Or is it just easier to enforce a strict "no tonsil hockey allowed" zone in your house?

9 comments:

Matt said...

As a father of a four year old dog I believe I have the credibility to offer you some insight.

You and Michelle will keep Greta off the pole even if you sleep walk through the next 17 years. She'll sponge off you guys and become a well-adjusted woman.

Onto the more important issue at hand—does the dude in Dorchester have any more bikes? I have oven mitts and could pick one up as early as tonight.

Also, was that wipe out one of the hardest you've ever eaten it while growing up? And if that same crash happened today, how many days of work do you think you would miss?

Dennis said...

Matt, you are indeed qualified especially considering you've been in the dad business for 3 and a half more years than me. I'm glad you don't see Greta on the pole in the future. Phew.

I can definitely hook you up with the Dorchester dude. He had a large inventory in the basement.

As for the wipe out, it was almost certainly the worst one of my life on a bike. The over/under for days out of work today would be 1.5 - maybe 2.5. I just remember a lot of stinging in the shower on several parts of my body. And neosporin. Lots of it.

Melissa DelPrete said...

first of all, i am in love with that pic of crazy legs mcgigi. ADORABLE!

now let's talk some truth. greta will probably be the most popular girl in school. and at 15, all the boys - both the cuties and the awkward ones - will want to date her. after some coaching from her auntie mel, she will be able to weed out the bad boys... but that still won't stop her from some french kisses in su casa. sorry den, but it's inevitable and you just gotta let it happen. but if he tries to round 2nd, you toss him to the curb!

i also definitely don't see the pole in her future. what i do see, if i am still single and once greta is 21, is G-force hitting the bars with me. now that you may want to enforce some strict rules about.

ps: i wish there was a video of you taking that spill on the bike!

Scott said...

Deneye, these thoughts have crossed my mind on several occasions. As a father of both a son and a daughter, I am not afraid to admit there is a significant double standard. Not only will I be more accepting of my son getting after it, I will most likely be rooting for him.

Not so much with my daughter. Part of me hopes she is a huge dork that no guys would want to touch until she is about 25, at which point she becomes drop dead gorgeous and she can pick whatever guy she wants. Probably an unlikely scenario, though.

I think the double standard is OK, though. I agree with Matt...I am sure your parenting skills will keep her off the pole (great saying) but you can never be too over protective with a girl. Guys are dirt bags. Try and remember the thoughts that went through your head as a teenager. That's the same thing the guys will be thinking about G in about 15 years. Good luck.

friendofafriendofafriend said...

The best bike trailer out there-bomb proof-is the Burley. The D'lite is economical and comes with a stroller attachment too so you'll look bad ass (or at least less gay). Also-Bell makes little helmets for little heads. Don't crash.

Dennis said...

Thanks for the input, friendofafriend. Especially the part about not crashing.

Jenny said...

Loved reading this entry - this one more than the fart one to be honest, but that's just me.

I constantly find myself daydreaming of what my kids will be like when they are older, how they will be different or similar than me. I can only hope that they follow the academic route and shy away from all the dangerous enticements and excitement of their surroundings...BUT that's just wishful thinking considering where they came from.

It's great to see you so involved in being a daddy and I have no doubt that Greta will continue to be a fun loving gal who will be sure to keep you on your toes and have the boys constantly guessing.

Jake said...

"...which eventually lodged into the spokes of the right front tire."?

I am I the only one to pick up on this subtle humor? Are you sure it wasn't the left front tire?

Dennis said...

Jake, I wish I was that witty but I actually meant to write that it was the right part of my front tire. Although the vision of a double front wheel is entertaining...