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    Columnist turns athletic biker babe
    by Beth Boswell Jacks

    “Cycology: the science of propelling one’s self
    through the environment to enhance well-being.”

    No, it’s true. Due to an early Christmas gift, I’m now a cyclist. This title came to me quite unexpectedly in the form of a blue/silver, 14 ½ inch, powered by SRAM, Trek Navigator 300 with grip shift.

    Actually, I didn't intend to buy a bike; hubby G-Man did. We went to the bicycle shop, and while he straddled and unstraddled two or three dozen bikes, chatting with the salesman about tires and tubes, I wandered through the accessories.

    That’s when I weakened. I’m a fool for a colorful array of gizmos.

    First I perused the helmets. There were pink helmets and royal blue helmets, flashy gold helmets and fancy patterned ones. One with little tumbling bears really caught my eye. Then I spotted helmets with rain shields. (What? No wipers?) Really, I’ve never seen so many helmets on one wall. The sheer abundance was hypnotizing.

    Moving on down the aisle, I found a shelf of cool computer mounts and clamp-on cell phone holders. The cell phone holder made sense (“Hello, honey. I’m over at the doughnut shop and can’t push the pedals another single solitary inch. Come get me!”), but I still can’t figure why anybody would want a computer on the handlebars. Oh, well, they must sell.

    Skipping the fenders, forks and frames [yawn], I found myself in clothing accessories. Now, this is when I succumbed completely to bike fever.

    Talk about great looking outfits. They had Gore-Tex and spandex and polypropylene socks. They had sleek looking combos with stripes down the side. They had insulated ear flaps and gel gloves—exciting stuff I’d never owned. As a matter of fact, this was clothing I didn’t know existed.

    I had to have some.

    But first I needed a bike. Circling back around to G-Man, I spied him flipping kickstands.

    With just a touch of biker babe swagger, I jabbed a tire and fiddled with a gear shift. (Athletes do that.) G-Man noticed and said, “Do you want a bike?”

    Decision time. Remember, the accessories had caught my fancy, not the actual precarious perching on such a life endangering mish-mash of bolted metal and rubber.

    Visions of bloody concrete curbs and barking dogs danced in my head. The promise of little bitty cinders embedded in flesh gave me pause as I softly hummed, “the neck bone’s connected to the . . . head bone. The head bone’s connected to the . . .”

    But, accessory intoxicated, I straightened my shoulders and lied, sort of: “Yeah, I think I’d really enjoy a bicycle.”

    Before G-Man could manage a second thought or two, I grabbed the nearest bike, the Trek Navigator I now call mine.

    “Listen to this.” I waved the bike pamphlet in his face.

    “Trek's Navigator 300 has a smooth, comfortable ride you'll love. Its unique frame geometry puts you in a back-friendly upright riding position. And its suspension fork, comfort saddle and shock-absorbing seatpost enhance rides by eliminating bumps. The Navigator 300 features a sweet-shifting Shimano drivetrain and smooth-rolling semi-slick tires.”

    That bike was as good as sold. Honestly, who could resist a sweet-shifting Shimano drivetrain?

    Then this budding athlete accessorized, leaving the shop with a silver streaked helmet, a water bottle and water bottle attachment, a handy dandy 2 inch expanding mini backpack, battery powered blinking lights for my bike seat, and the insulated ear flaps. I passed on the spandex and the other clothing, which, on further examination, promised to “hug the skin.” I’ve already got clothes that do that.

    Yessir. We’ve got the bikes home and I’ve been practicing in the driveway. I’ve got the tire kicking down, my silver helmet is fully adjusted, the gorp is in the backpack, and soon I’ll be heading for the highways and byways. Next time you see me, I will be lean and mean.

    (Pssst! You'll know it's me when you hear the Barbie horn.)

    Let 'er rip!


    Editor of USADEEPSOUTH, Beth Boswell Jacks is the author of 3 books (Grit, Guts, and Baseball and Snippets I and II) and is also a weekly columnist for a number of Southern newspapers. Readers and editors may contact her at bethjacks@hotmail.com

    Read about Beth's SNIPPETS books -- two collections of her columns.

    For more of Beth’s stories at USADS, click here:

    And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS

    Or want to "search inside" the SNIPPETS books for a certain subject or theme?
    You can! Just CLICK HERE.

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    or write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.
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