Now, don't quote me on this, but... I *think* I may have somehow managed to spread the Spark.
This morning, in spite of *ahem* the joys of estrogen and all that involves, I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed when my furry alarm clock went off instead of lobbing a pillow at her. I walked in to see my husband eating breakfast and watching the weather report. The meteorologist stated that this morning would most likely be the last nice morning for a long time. And in Texas, that means the start of the h#ll known as "Summer". Ninety degrees at 8am, sidewalk still holding the 100+ degree heat from the previous day, high humidity, smog, and exercising indoors until mid-October. I loathe summer in Texas. So, I ate a healthy breakfast, and, despite having an appointment at 10am, I decided to do a quick ride down our local trail to see if the other end had opened yet. Joy of joy, it had! I was so excited, but alas, time was running out, and the surveyor who was fixing to put lines on the trail was giving me all kinds of side-eye, so I booked it home.
I plopped down on the cool concrete in the shade of my garage, noting with some satisfaction that my old record of 46 minutes was now becoming my "cruising pace" and the rapidly rising temperatures. I chugged some water and was about to go in the house to get ready for my appointment when my neighbor's garage door opened. I didn't look up, because I hoped he wouldn't see me. I was dripping sweat, my legs were unshaven and scratched up, and I REALLY had to get ready for my appointment. He saw me sitting there and said "hey! Come look what I got!" I lifted my head and there sat a very nice looking bicycle. "Ooh, neato!" I said, and scampered across the alley to have a look. I'm a sucker for new toys, but I was a bit surprised to see that this was what he was talking about.
See, ever since I started biking regularly about two years ago, my neighbor has teased me. I mean, not in a hateful way or anything like that, just good-natured ribbing, because he likes motorcycles, and he always says I need an engine on my bike. He also expresses doubt about the pleasures of self-propelled transport, and just shakes his head in disbelief when I tell him my mileage. A few months ago, when I was out cleaning my bike chain, he moseyed on over and started asking a few questions, like "where do you go ride" and "do I really have to wear a helmet? I never did when I was a kid." I didn't really give it much thought, and answered questions and talked about how much fun it was, but that was about it. People talk to me about biking all the time, but they very rarely do anything about it. I think most folks think you have to be some kind of Lance Armstrong wannabe to bike, and I'm living proof that this is not the case, ha ha.
He told me that since his wife didn't really like riding motorcycles, he thought this would be something fun they could do together, and something he could do to get in better shape. He also showed me his new helmet. He said his wife's bike was being put together at the shop, because they had to special order hers because she's so tall. (She's about as tall as me, and she wanted a woman's bike, and the shop didn't have the color she wanted in her size.) Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I told them about the other end of the trail opening up, and gave more unsolicited advice (because I'm famous for that), and then he got a phone call, and I had to go indoors and hurry to get ready for my appointment (who showed up an hour late, sigh).
I don't know if they would've got bikes or not if they hadn't seen the rotund woman across the street tearing around the neighborhood like a maniac, but I'd like to think I've been a bit of a positive influence on somebody. I hope they come to enjoy biking as much as I do.