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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From Biking Skirt to Walking Skirt in an Instant

In the children’s book, “Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day” by Jane O’Connor, Nancy has a motto – “Less than a mile, bike in style”. When the Clancy family has to run quick errands or run to the grocery store for just a few items, they leave their car at home and ride their bikes instead.  I’ve taken her motto and modified it a little; I say, “less than 10 miles, bike in style!”

So earlier this week when I had 3 quick stops to make, and it wasn’t raining, I decided to bike it. I snapped on one of my custom SweetSpot® Skirt cycling skirts, grabbed my helmet and bike and hit the road. My first stop was Goodwill, about two and a half miles from home. I racked my bike and headed inside and found what I was looking for within about 1o minutes. I went back outside to the rack and stood in front of my bike for a good 20 seconds before I could make sense of what I was seeing…my bike was still locked up where I had left it, but the rear fork was resting on the sidewalk and my real wheel was gone! I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, unable to believe that someone had stolen my wheel!
The sad sight that met me when I came out of the store.
 When I finally registered what I was seeing, I got mad! I’m talking screaming, spitting, crying mad!!!! Why would someone do that? How mean! What was the point? Of course Goodwill doesn’t have security cameras, so they weren’t able to help me, though they did offer to call the police non-emergency number for me. I filed a police report, knowing in my heart that I’ll never see my wheel again. When I was finished with the police dispatcher, I was faced with a dilemma:  now what? I was two and a half miles from home and my mode of transportation was disabled…

Not wanting to be the damsel-in-destress-waiting-for-a-prince-to-rescue-her sort of girl, I took what I saw as the only option available: I hitched up my cycling skirt, picked up my bike, and hoofed it home. I ride a dark purple Liv Alight-2; it weighs about 21 pounds. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s an awkward 21 pounds, and by the time I got home I swear that bike weighed closer to 121 pounds than

As I was walking home, I spent some time praying and thinking, and by the time I reached my front door, I had calmed down and changed my attitude, I was still upset about my wheel being stolen, but I decided not to let it ruin my whole day. I thought about the fact that in the six months I’ve owned my bike, I’ve had three flats on the rear tire, had to replace the tube twice, and the tire has a pretty good size hole in the rubber, so maybe it’s time for a new one anyway (I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’ll have to replace the sprocket set too! I’ll face that reality another day!). I also reminded myself that it could have been worse – they could have stolen my entire bike; it could have happened at my furthest destination from home rather than my closest; it could have been raining. In short, it could have been a lot worse!! I decided that I can’t control people’s actions, but I can control my reactions, and I decided to react with grace.

I learned two valuable things that day: First, I learned a safer way to lock up a bike – through the back wheel, rear fork and onto the rack with an added cable lock through the front wheel/fork. And second, I learned that my Sweet Spot® cycling skirt transitions very well from biking to walking!

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