It was supposed to be a fun ride, a clever way to lose a few extra pounds and get in shape. I never thought it'd be mistaken for a wheelchair. It's my new Tadpole EZ rider recumbent tricycle. Yeah, that's a mouthful, and if you've ever been on one, it's a sweet ride. I rode my sister's in Idaho Falls last summer and fell in love. I determined to get one... some day. Some day came sooner than I planned when I found the squirrely little buggars offered at an inventory reduction sale from a bike shop in Colorado. After extending my line of credit, I ordered the trike to be delivered to my house, even though the Fly Bike Shop wanted it delivered to another bike shop. Well, guess what? We don't have one in our town. Apparently, unless the little amphibian is put together by a professional, the 90 day warranty is void. Well, from where I'm standing in life, 90 days is not long enough to worry about. Besides, my nearly 14-year-old son was eager as all get-out to put the bike together. He's got quite a mechanical mind, so he read the book (which didn't have instructions for our model anyway) and started fitting things where they belonged, or looked like they belonged. You can learn a lot through trial and error. We recruited our neighbor, Doyle, to help with the project, and he said it looked like we had our machine upside down and backwards. Still, he was helpful and patient until Dad came rolling in to the rescue and put the chain on...twice. (The first time the trike would go forward only if you peddled backward. Thrilling!)
As soon as it was rideable, my sons were in line. They rode it into the night, even taping a flashlight to the front frame so they could keep on riding on the dark streets. I had to wait until today when they were all in school to get my turn. As I was tooling down the street, I saw my old 87 year old neighbor in his yard, so I called, "Hi, Roger!" and pedaled toward him. He slid his hat back on his head and looked at me in frank surprise. "Well, hello," he said when he recognized my face underneath my floppy sunhat. "I wondered who was that crippled lady yellin' at me."
I laughed. "Does it really look like a wheelchair?"
"More than it looks like a bike," he said.
After my ride, my thighs were burning. I could have used a wheelchair. I don't remember ever having such a fun workout.