I purchased a bike last week. Before registering for the Ironman, I thought there were exactly 3 kinds of bikes:

1. Tricycle: I had one of these as a very small child. One day I hooked a wagon up to it, loaded my baby sister Micalyne into it, rode down the street to a house owned by a rugged man named Harry who used to put on flower-patterned dresses to wash his car in the driveway, dumped her out, and rode back home. This was one of my many childhood attempts to rid myself of said sister and reclaim my status as youngest child. I also used to encourage Cathie to walk quickly in stores, knowing that Micalyne was unable to walk as fast as either of us if we really booked it. I believed that if we got far enough ahead of her in the store, she would be lost, Cathie would forget we brought her (or that she ever had a little girl at all) and we would go home and never speak of her again. I'm not sure what this says about Cathie. Or of my perception of her parenting skills in 1989. But rest assured, my plan never worked. And as if she can sense my history of ill-repute spanning across 2 decades, Micalyne's 2 year old child today despises and fears me like The First Eye hates happiness.

2. Bike with a basket in front: While convenient and fashionable, I could never have one of these because of the terrifying ET flashbacks it would inevitably provide. ET was a horrifying film that was meant to be for all audiences. ET is a perfect example of my theory that the world was devoid of joy before 1990. Please note, for other evidence, that all Disney films before that time, particularly before 1980, are more frightening than any of today's intentionally scary films. Witches called upon all the powers of Hell, stuffed animals had nightmares that I pray to never experience myself, elephant intoxication was worse than The Exorcists, and don't even get me started on Fantasia. And these were supposed to be the lighthearted films geared at children. No wonder Bob thought Stephen King's made for TV IT was appropriate viewing for six-year-old Eli. It was probably the least frightening thing on TV at the time. [Warning: don't click that last link if you are alive and want to stay that way]

3. Bike without a basket in front: This bike can be ridden wherever, whenever, and the technology and design have remained largely the same over the last 100 years, although it's now available in more colors than ever before.

So I wanted a type 3 bike. What I found when I started looking into bike options, after registering for the Ironman (despite having no business doing so), was that there are apparently more than 3 kinds of bikes. I know. Crazy.

So I finally bought one from a friend last week, which made me feel cooler than the time in the 4th grade Utah pioneer assembly when I was specially selected among my classmates to perform an Irish tune on the recorder with a dozen other specially selected children. I was sure it was because I was particularly musically talented. But I later discovered that I was placed there only to keep me out of a heart-wrenching performance of line dancing Slap Leather, performed by those children in the class who were competent enough dancers to not get sequestered into a side music number meant to divert the embarrassing children away from the main performance. I should have known something was up. I couldn't play the recorder. And my recorder was yellow. Not black like the recorders everyone else had. All of my siblings and I used that yellow recorder in the 4th grade, which was a hand-me-down from Cathie's college days when she apparently took a recorder class (note: I think college used to be a lot easier. Although I did have a class called flexibility in 2010 where the first 40 minutes of each class was made up of light stretching and the last 10 minutes was a nap).

I got Paul Cyclemon home (he practically told me that was his name) and he and I have gotten along well ever since. I have not, however, taken him out for a ride yet. Weekend adventure ahead.

~It Just Gets Stranger