Hundreds of people whooping it up with no annoying cars driving too close. Small children on tag-along bikes with their dads, kids proud as they could be. Colorful fake flowers arranged on bike baskets, shimmering streamers flowing from bike helmets.
Biking in Cyclovia twice a year was fun. In November, as soon as it turns cool, a five-mile easy ride through central Tucson, and even better, the spring tour of the barrio.
Yup, the old lady was ready to go, after drinking lots of coffee and munching on weekend biscuits with eggs, at the B-Line with her honey.
At the first traffic light stop along the Cyclovia route, she didn’t hesitate getting off her bike, watching the svelte young thing barely expending any energy jumping rope. Assuming she could hop right in and do it, too.
No stopping her.
Three tries before she fell backward. Smack on the concrete road. On her coccyx.
Jumping rope — even double Dutch, and fancy hopping from one foot to the other — had been so easy for the old lady, more than 60 years ago.
Time has passed. Lots of time.
What was she thinking? Was she in denial of her somewhat advanced age?
She hates to think of herself as old, although in reality. most of her life has passed.
After getting up off the road, a young Cyclovia volunteer looked at her Oz t-shirt, and said, “I was born in Portland, Maine.” (There’s always some Maine connection, everywhere in Tucson).
Since they had started a conversation, the old lady asked, “Do you know how old I am? I’ll be 70 in 2016.”
“No way!” the young woman replied. The old lady felt better, like she wasn’t really that old.
But she rode away and all was well. Except for her headache.