Last night I met Ibis at Playa Madera after his first shift at his new job. (That's a loaded statement but the details aren't important for the sake of this story.) The hotel is about a mile from our place and along the route we run most mornings. I'd walked there, as well as run that morning, so when it was time to leave my feet were dragging.
"Mel, get on."
"Are you sure? I don't know if this is a good idea."
"Just get on. I grew up doing this and it's a lot faster than walking."
I, too, grew up doing this and have some nice scars to show for my efforts. "Fine, but please don't kill me." I straddled the metal rack over the rear tire, grabbed the seat and lifted my feet.
Ibis began pedaling, our bodies wobbling back and forth as he tried to steady the bike.
"Wait! Wait! Wait!"
He stopped. "What now?"
"I'm scared. What if I fall and crack my head open?" The US belief that you must be encased in bubble-wrap before venturing out your front door was screaming that this was a stupid idea.
"Just stop wiggling. Why you jiggling?"
After a few blocks we settled into a rhythm and I was able to relax enough to watch the people on the sidewalk. They gave us strange looks - I supposed it's not every day they see a man dressed in a hotel uniform carting a gringa around town on a bicycle - but I was more concerned with staying onboard than what others might think.
He took a longer route home so we could ride down the middle of empty streets. I hadn't ridden a bike in over a year and the wind whipping through my hair brought back memories of Chicago. Well, maybe not whipped - I wouldn't let him go very fast so it was more of a tousle - but you get the idea. I hate not being in control so the terror of falling never fully went away but I tried to remind myself that my husband wouldn't intentionally hurt me.
Aside from a couple potholes and a nasty speedbump, we arrived home unscathed. I'd rather this doesn't become a regular thing for us - I don't think my butt can handle it.