The Old Coot steps up; but lower

I’ve done it! Made it through another life passage. There are more of these transitions than I ever imagined. When I made it through the passage to age 21, I thought that was the end of it. We start as a baby, evolve to toddler, school kid, teenager, high school graduate, etc. arriving at full legal age. That was it, so I thought. Then, I faced turning 30, a tough one, especially since I was a part of the protest generation that claimed people over thirty were out of touch. Our credo was, “Never trust anyone over thirty!” All of a sudden, I was one of them. 

Along came 40, old age I thought, but whitewashed by the slogan, “Life begins at 40,” helping people to ease through the passage. Then came 50. A new slogan emerged, “Fifty is the new forty.” Then, a few more passages, each of which I assumed was the last (turning 60, retiring, signing up for Social Security).

All done? No! Those life alterations just keep coming. My latest one was a surprise. I had to switch to a “girls” bike. The dealer called it a “step-through bicycle,” but I know the truth. It’s a girl’s bike. I also know that most girls (women) don’t ride girl’s bikes anymore. They ride the same bikes men ride, with a straight bar across the top of the frame. The name of the bikes we call girl’s bikes, should be called old coot bikes. 

I used to sit in the front window at Carol’s Coffee & Art Bar and watch Ray Thompson, well into his 90’s, pull up to the barber shop on a girl’s, vintage, three speed, English bike. I thought he rode it because it was something he picked up at a yard sale and didn’t care if it was a girl’s bike or not. But, now that I am a proud owner of a similar vehicle, I think he probably chose it on purpose. 

I chose mine when I started to have trouble swinging my leg high enough to get it over the seat when I got on or off. It was beyond my flexibility limit. The seat is 39-3/4 inches from ground level; my reach is several inches lower and falling. I eventually caught my heel on the seat getting off a few weeks ago; it sent me into a tumble, ending in an embarrassing sprawl on the sidewalk with a sore hip and a bloodied knee. Then, a few days later, I did it again. I’m not sure if it was fear of public humiliation or fear of mortal danger that sent me to the bike store to buy a “step-through” bike. “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Thus, a step-thru bike is still a girl’s bike. As a friend of mine used to say after any mishap or disappointment, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye!” He was right. A sharp stick made it into my eye in 2003. Riding around on a “girl’s” bike is better.  

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1 Comment on "The Old Coot steps up; but lower"

  1. Curtis G Anthony | July 23, 2019 at 1:07 am | Reply

    My neighbors leave spot lights all night long. How do please tell them to stop. Asap Holmes ave Appalachian ny. These people have been leaving them on in front and turned on out back. The whole street is dark n quiet besides this one house

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