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I’m [in]famous!

You may remember a post a few years ago when my family first rode on the Michigander. I met a tall handsome stranger, who rode a bike, somehow looked good in spandex, and had abs that were pretty much able to be eaten off of. He was so pretty – the only issue was that he thought I was a high schooler.

The next year, returning to the scene of the BikeGuy:

“I remember you,” BikeGuy tells me. “Not a newbie anymore.”

“Second time around,” I respond. I can’t stop staring at his face.

Last year, he was scruffy, with shaggy hair and a bandana. This year, his hair is a little more tame, but…

He has grown a fabulous beard.

“You’re tanner than last year.” He’s scrutinizing me. “And your hair is longer. And your kid is huge.”

I nod. “Yes. But You. You’ve grown a beard.”

He gives me a long stare. Maybe the beard comment was inappropriate somehow.

“You’re a hockey fan, aren’t you?” He asks.

I realized then, that I was known…I was remembered. It was the next best thing to being famous. Well, almost.  Because it was only one person. But it was a step. And it was awesome.

Until it happened.

That one moment where all of a sudden I learned to fly for a nano second…before learning how to crash, slide on my head, obtain armfuls of road rash, bruise myself, and have a bike crash into me.

You might remember this. Why might you remember this? Well, one, because I blogged about it last year. Two, because now, I’m not famous. I’m infamous.

I realized this again when I posted earlier in the week about the McKayla incident. You know, where she didn’t get the gold medal, and made a face, and now is not impressed with anything ever? Well, congratulations to McKayla, because along with winning a gold medal in the team competition and a silver in the vault, you have won notoriety on the interwebs for all sorts of face-making-meme-forming debauchery! Your prize has already arrived in the form of millions of people talking about your scowl.

Let’s go back to the Michigander 2k12.

We’ve just arrived. I’m determined to finish this year, especially after learning that the scene of my fall last year was only 10 miles from the finish line.

…10 miles that I apparently could have finished. Yes, I was bruised. Yes, I was bleeding. Yes, my bike was missing a few spokes and my brake was bent a little. But I could have finished. 

So, there I am. I’m preparing to bike the entire trip, and not fall or injure myself or really anything that involves not crossing the finish line. Because, yeah, the Michigander has a finish line. 


this dude is always at the finish line

I’ve even gone all out. I am in spandex. I have my bike shorts on, my multiple Michigander wristbands. My bike and helmet are color coordinated, even though that kind of just happened in the past few years when I got my new bike. I’m so pumped and ready to go when another person on the tour sees me and stops me.

She grabs me by the shoulders and looks into my eyes. I remember this woman, but I can’t place where from.

“The last time I saw you,” she begins. “You were flat on your back on the side of the road.”

Oh right.

I laugh. “Yes, that sounds like me. Took a bad fall last year.”

Her eyes are huge now. “I know! I saw that fall! I saw the whole thing! I’m so glad that you’re back!”

…and then she hugs me.

Fast forward. It’s a couple days from the end of the trip and we’re about to stop at a SAG stop loading up with water and twizzlers. This SAG is run by a family that volunteers for the tour. I remember some of the them from the years before. We arrive and I’m filling up my water bottle by the family.

“Do you remember me?” the mother asks.

I nod. “Yeah, this is our third year now biking.”

“Yes,” she says. “But you were the one, weren’t you?”

“Um,” I shrug. “I’m the mom. It’s my kid in the trailer that’s getting pulled by the tandem.” I figure that’s what they’re referring to.

“No, no.” she clarifies. “It was you last year that we helped? You took that spill.”

“Oh,” I fake a smile. I’m pretty sure my face is purple from embarrassment. “Yup. That was me. I still have the bruises.”

Fast forward again. The family has stopped so Boo can take a pee break and I’m bitching about my new found fame. An older couple pulls up and stops with us and hears me complaining. They laugh at all the right points in my story, and laud me for not falling this time around.

“You can do it,” the woman encourages me. “Show them all that you are better than when you fell off the bike!”

“We will see you at the finish line!” her husband adds.

One last fast forward. We’re on the last mile of the trip. I haven’t fallen. I am team awesome. My dad and I are debating how to cross the finish line. We want to find a way to pull a Lance Armstrong and throw both hands in the air.

“-Downside being, that if you throw your hands up too quickly and get off balance, you could fall.” I reason this out.

“That wouldn’t be a very good way to end the tour.” My father tells me.

“It’d be a good photo opp though,” I say. “Especially if you throw your hands up. Because you AND Mom AND the tandem would all just go flying.”

“Don’t you dare go no handed,” my mom interjects from the back of the tandem.

What up, bitches. Team Awesome at the finish line.

We crossed the finish line. No one fell. As I was enjoying my piece of victory cake and my glass of awesomeness lemonade, someone else comes up to me and pats me on the back. Everyone is congratulating everyone else so I figure it’s just something like that.

“Hey, you made it!” The woman cheers me.

I give her a thumbs up as my mouth is full of cake.

“And you’re upright this year too!”

Oh, fuck you.


Baby, you’re a hand me down.

A few Christmases ago, my dad was fixing a bike. This awesome, black, shiny, racing bike, with a light weight frame, and those creepy tiny pedals that you have to put your foot on just right to ride.

You would feel JUST LIKE Lance Armstrong on this bike. Except, no cancer, or yellow jersey.

He asked me if I would test it out, ride around the neighborhood with him and this new member of our biking family. HELL YES, I will. We ride around a little bit, and I feel like Speedy Gonzales, if he weren’t a mouse, and could ride a bike.

“What do you think?” Dad asks me, when we stop at a corner to take a breather.

“It’s nice,” I say. “It’s awesome. Seat’s a little low, though.”

“Oh yeah,” Dad responds. “It’ll be perfect for your sister.”

My poor heart. But this is my life. I, as the younger sibling, was the curse of the hand-me-down.

VS (Left) and L.A. at L.A.'s birthday. VS probably blew out the candles. Also, note the similar dresses. I would wear VS's in the next year or so at Easter.

If you are the youngest sibling, or a middle sibling, or anywhere in the line up that isn’t the first born, you know this feeling. You know what it’s like to get to school and have a teacher that’s had your sibling and introduces you to the class as “Another [last name] child,” or “Mini VS,” or even better, starts your high school career with the phrase, “I hope you’re as smart as your sister is.”

You know what’s it like to have to correct people on your name, when they call you by your sibling’s, or flat-out forget yours. You know the feeling of driving a car that may or may not have battle wounds because your older sibling freaking turned 16 first.

I am a prime example of the hand-me-down.

I wore VS’s clothes when she outgrew them. I got her old shoes. At one point, I remember ripping her old notes out of notebooks before using them as my own in high school (this may have been partly my fault because I did not get enough notebooks when we went school shopping. It may also be my parents’ fault because they neglected to take us school shopping until after school started.). My first car was her first car before it was my first car. And of course…there were the bicycles.

“I was so upset when I found out that was going to be your bike,” I tell VS on the phone. “But it’s okay, because if you think about it, every time you got a new bike, I got a new bike too!”

VS cracks up. “And here’s your new bike, L.A.! Behind curtain number two is….VS’s OLD BIKE!!!”

Now we both laugh.

As time has passed, I’ve accepted the hand-me-down curse because it really is a family thing. Other things get passed down too, that make it more bearable. Like if VS broke a rule when she was 17, by the time I got to be 17 and broke that same rule, it wasn’t a big deal anymore. Or if VS and I go out now…the bill gets passed up, instead of handed down (she makes more money than me, and she offers!).

L.A. and VS and the Boo. I am now old enough to be wearing a shirt that was never VS's.

Plus, since she is still in possession of that bike that was never mine, and resides in a different state, that bike could not be handed down. Which means, I got my very own shiny new bicycle.

Which is shinier than VS’s.

Everybody. Look how shiny my bike is!

By the way. If you’re disgruntled about the hand-me-down law, don’t be. It could be worse.

That first car of mine, which was the first car of VS’s? By the time VS had it, it was 8 years old. By the time I drove it, it was 12 years old.

Then I got pregnant.

L.A.’s Mom: We need to get you a new car.

L.A.(extremely excited): I get a new car?!

L.A.’s Mom: Yours isn’t safe.

L.A.: I’ve been driving it for the past year.

L.A.’s Mom: Oh, well, it’s safe for you. But not for the baby.

This is how the law changes. Be Prepared.

I’ve fallen head over heels and I can’t get up

So, in recent times, I have promised you a number of stories. Instead of telling those stories, I’m going to tell you a few things I’ve learned over the past few weeks. I’m big on learning lately.

1. Men in spandex can still be hot.

Ask Lady B, for example. Her fiance proposed in a unitard type outfit, and I’m not going to lie. Best proposal story ever.

My man in spandex, however, came from the bike tour I recently participated in. He was on said tour last year when I went (Read more here and here.) and made fun of me for being a virgin rider. This year, as I was a second year rider, we were much more eloquent in our conversations.

“I remember you,” BikeGuy tells me. “Not a newbie anymore.”

“Second time around,” I respond. I can’t stop staring at his face.

Last year, he was scruffy, with shaggy hair and a bandana. This year, his hair is a little more tame, but…

He has grown a fabulous beard.

“You’re tanner than last year.” He’s scrutinizing me. “And your hair is longer. And your kid is huge.”

I nod. “Yes. But You. You’ve grown a beard.”

He gives me a long stare. Maybe the beard comment was inappropriate somehow.

“You’re a hockey fan, aren’t you?” He asks.

I am in love.

2. Biking in 90+ degree heat isn’t as bad when your BFF leaves you crazy voicemails.

Somewhere around 200 miles in, Poof calls me. I’m sweaty and dying and don’t notice until that night after I shower and am laying on a gym floor while LeBebe runs around.

Hey, so I know you’re biking and all, but I’m driving to meet GoldDust and if you weren’t biking we could all be together there. But I digress. Iwas just wondering if you and your family plan your bike trip to correspond with the tour de france. Because it’s happening at the same time as your whirlwind bike trip, and I was just wondering. I was also wondering, if you have a little yellow jumpsuit while you were biking to show you were the fastest rider. Of course your dad is probably the fastest biker because you got the baby on the back, but maybe you could get the polka dot jersey for the mountains or something. anyway, I was just wondering if that was how your family did that. So, one night when you have a break, I hope you will call me, because I miss you and I have no idea when you’re coming back. K, Bye!

For the record. I would totally be wearing the yellow jersey. And the polka dot jersey. But that because I am on a single and my parents ride on this:

You can’t climb hills riding on this.

3. Bruises fade.

Even now, the monstrosity that was on the side of my leg is a fading memory. All that remains is a faint echo of the injury that once was, in a shape that reminds me of Richard Avedon‘s classic photos of the Beatles.


Image by Pineapples101 via Flickr


Come along for an adventure on L.A.’s bicycle.

It’s raining. Hard. I’m pedaling furiously. Next thing I know, I’m having the idea that this is what it must be like to fly.

I’m suddenly upside down and all I can see is the road. It’s coming towards to me until I crash. I’m all set to relish in the fact that hot damn, I’ve crashed my bike and landed on my head. When I see something else. It’s my bike. Sliding towards me.

It slams into me, and bike and I go sliding down the pavement until the bike decides it doesn’t want to push me along anymore. I shove it off me only to realize I’m lying spread eagled in the right hand lane of a four lane highway.

There’s a car that has pulled over and an old woman is sticking her head out into the rain.

“Did your poncho get caught?” She yells over at me.

No, bitch. And I’m fine, by the way.

4. You should never read too much into titles. I bet you thought this would be a piece about love, falling head over heels and all.

Nope. Just biking. And bodily injury.