Although it comes late in life, when because of surgery and old age I am no longer a contender, I have discovered an infallible technique for attracting women: falling off my bicycle.
Yesterday morning, around ten o’clock, I stopped at my bicycle store because the chain was coming off the small cluster of my three frontal gears. As I dismounted, my leg got caught on that part of the frame which runs from the saddle to the handlebars. I stumbled, but didn’t quite fall.
A young woman who had been talking to one of her kids on the cellphone—this trick is most effective with young mothers, quickly terminated the conversation and ran over to assist me. She gripped my arm and asked if I were Ok and if I needed help. I explained that I was OK, but was getting old and no longer have the necessary flexibility in my limbs to dismount from my bicycle gracefully.
This is the fourth time a twenty-something beauty has come to my rescue. Before I converted to snap on pedals, my foot got entangled with the leather pedal straps on my hybrid and I fell over in the middle of the street. Two of the sweetest, prettiest young mothers briefly left their children on the sidewalk to pick me up and get me out of the street.
One October day, several years ago, I lost control of the fast, blue Cannondale R-300 while flying down Chestnut Street in Westfield. I must have slid about 100 feet. Luckily, the vehicle behind me was piloted by another young mother. Keeping about 30 feet between her SUV and my bicycle, she not only followed me until I came to a stop, but blocked other vehicles from passing her. When I had stopped sliding, gotten up, and limped to the side of the road, she had run out, put an arm around me, and asked if she could take me to the emergency room. Although I had bruises and scrapes all over my body, but I cleaned myself up with Wet Ones—an essential part of any cyclist's first aid kit, patched myself up with overside bandaids, and rode the last eight miles to my house despite the badly bent handlebars.
I thanked the young woman and paused a few minutes that my heart might stop beating so fast. Was it the accident or her touch?
Most mythic was another incident in front of The Cranford Bike shop. Again, I lost my balance getting off the damned bike—the R-300, and started to fall when, miraculously, Wonder Woman emerged from the bike shop with a baby in he left arm. In one amazing sweeping motion, this gorgeous amazon held the door open with the same arm that was holding the baby; with her right arm she somehow managed to grab me around the waist, prevent me and the bike from falling, and then gently lifted me and the bicycle and swung us into the bike shop through the door. Before I could thank her, she smiled at me and (I think) flew away.