Even as a Cancer, my maternal instincts are limited to the point of being nonexistent. Sure, I'm about to reach that age where my biological clock starts going "ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!!!!1111" and I'll want to bone everything that moves, but the fact remains: children simply terrify me.
Add to that the fact that I am incredibly Dude, and it's a little alarming when male friends think that I'd actually make a good mother. Really? Me? Kids? Huh? ...No.
Because we're talking about a girl who just managed to lube her chain for the first time in about 4 weeks [4 weeks, people] a few days ago. A stunningly simple task, it was made infinitely more complicated by my sheer laziness. It involved things like turning over both my bikes, getting out some rags, shaking up the [dry] lube [because I kept forgetting to buy the wet stuff], and applying it to my chain. It was exhausting just thinking about it [seriously, how would I be able to take care of children?].
But mustering up the energy to finally bite the bullet, I carefully flipped over both bikes in my small apartment. And in doing so, I moved aside a book I had just finished the night before: "Ten Points," by [Bicycling Magazine editor] Bill Strickland.
You have to read it. A memoir of Strickland's promise to his daughter that he would score ten points in one season [despite his status as a "decidedly average bicyclist"], it's more than just a book about bicycles. Between the furious pedaling, Strickland - with the kind of stark, naked honesty that doesn't tuck away the blemishes and disappointments of reality - interweaves his inner fight with a demon born of child abuse and his struggles with parenting. A slim book of heartcrushing proportions, it had me pulling back tears after the first chapter [and for what it's worth, it wasn't that hormonal time of month].
It's the kind of book you immediately want to talk about. The kind that tends to turn me into a walking spoiler alert for the book, despite the fact that I want everyone I know to read it. And I mean that; because unlike most things I fanatically advocate, no obsessive love of bicycles is really required for this one. Just a heart. And maybe some tissues.
Back in my apartment, I managed to uncover the silver metal underneath the black much coating my chain. Tires got pumped and brake pads checked. A mental note made of new bar tape and the desire for another pair of clipless pedals before climbing back on a track bike perched precariously on a pair of rollers. When I get around to it, I might not be such a bad bike mom.
Which, along with "Ten Points," gives me a little hope. For, you know, when children stop terrifying me.
[And yup, it's Rapha Scarf Friday.]