Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tail Over Teakettle

Tomorrow's library storytime will be Silly, literally. There will be books about being silly, silly songs, silly crafts, silly, silly, silly. Milton agreed to help set the mood by rolling "tail over teakettle" in the backyard. (Notice he's also sticking his tongue out at the blogging world. Not very respectful, is he?)

Here, in the southern US spring is well underway. That's gotten me out and about in the yard and on the bicycle. In fact, twice last week I made the five mile (one way) commute to and from work. I truly enjoyed the ride as the world looks quite different and much closer from a bike saddle and the weather was just about perfect.

Sadly, on the way home during my second day of bicycle commuting I had the most spectacularly bruising tail over teakettle crash. As the old-timers say, I've been "stove up" and recovering from an impressive collection of road rash and blue marks. Mind you, there were no bones broken and thankfully the bike was not damaged but yours truly has truly been a patchwork of bandages.

The bandages, oh the bandages! Although I tried at first to conceal them, the concealing did not last long and the bandages led to a barrage of questions at the library. It's important to know that I live in a rural community. By venturing out on a two wheeled, non-motorized conveyance I have broken a fast and unspoken rule within most rural US communities, adults DO NOT bicycle simply for recreation or to commute to work. It is not done. This unspoken rule is especially applicable to adults owning working vehicles with combustible engines.

So, to begin with I am way outside of most of my community's societal comfort zone. In fact, my being seen on bike will lead most other adults to believe that my car is broken. Who knows, one of the local churches might even take up a collection for that poor Ms. Bethany down at the library.

All of the above being the case, most people are bit incredulous that my bandages were earned in a bicycle crash. For everyone's sake and comfort, I'd really like to jazz the story up with a fossil fuel burning machine but those are the kind of tales that put you in awkward situations later when the truth leaks out, and somehow the truth always does leak out. So yes, I've had to tough it out and explain time out of mind that "I had a bicycle crash." "Yes, you heard me correctly I did say bicycle." "Yes, the non-motorized kind."

This admission, led one 12-year-old young lady to proudly proclaim that, "My mother hasn't ridden a bicycle since she was four." This was said with much pride and obvious satisfaction, as certainly adults riding and crashing bicycles falls far outside the realm of acceptable adult behavior. (The exception of course being Lance Armstrong.) I think perhaps, some of the library patrons may even believe that I've had my comeuppance for venturing out at all on a bicycle and stealing a few precious feet of roadway from the gazillion horse powered trucks and SUVs that are king of the road in the south.

Imagine how horrified they're all going to be to hear that I didn't learn my lesson and that "Ms. Bethany WILL ride again."


  1. I have been tail over tea kettle more than once - so I do sympathise!!!!I only recently learned to ride a push bike and am quite proud of the feat and like you have sported gravel rash and grazes and blue and black bruising. But good for you in getting out and biking it!! Maggs

  2. Well done for getting the bike, equipping it, riding it to work and not quitting after your fall. It takes guts.

  3. I love to read your tales, remember I live vicariosly through you *S*. Turn a deaf ear to the talk of the town, you are amazing in all you do! (I will let you know when that collection starts up for storytime Bethany hehe) - Lu

  4. Maggs, lot of fun isn't it, the push biking - not the falling.

    Fin, thank you Darling.

    Lu, and I live vicariously through you as well. :)

  5. Oh no! I hope your wounds heal quickly!
    (and I think it's wonderful that you still ride)

  6. Plug your ears and keep it up. If more of us followed your lead, fewer Americans would be classified as overweight.

    btw---the SUV and monster pickup, rule here on the plains, as well.

  7. BecomingKate, thanks... almost good as new.

    Jadedj, I have to admit, a few folks here have been very encouraging. :)

  8. Have a GREAT time the rest of this week! I hope it is the best ever!!

  9. I know what you mean. I remember the few times I commuted by bike to work when I was driving the bus. My fellow bus drivers could not comprehend why I would do such a thing. Why not stop at the first bus stop, chain your bike there and then just ride. They thought I was definitely insane. lol I once scared a group of elementary kids by admitting that the bike they were looking at belonged to me.


Please play nicely.