That's not to say that my bike and I don't get along, it's just that we're getting used to each other. I'm pretty sure she finds me exasperating, the way I'm always pushing and trying so hard. It was a few days ago that I realized I was struggling like this unnecessarily - that no matter how hard I push, I can only make a few minutes' difference in my travel time. The Pashley has its own pace, and that's all there is to it. It's mostly a very agreeable pace and, as I've mentioned before, it's not a slow pace - it just feels slow to me. I guess because it's such a smooth and solid ride, and so effortless, that I can't imagine I'm going as fast as I did on Pepe.
With Pepe, I always felt like I was urging him on. Like the bike would only go fast if I pushed it to. The speed with Pepe was directly proportional to the effort I was expending. In contrast, Olivia goes just exactly the speed that she feels I should go, no more nor less, and she'll thank me very much not to think I'm in charge of everything.
Seriously, when I fight against the pace, it's like I can hear my bike talking to me. The voice I've given to her in my head is the same voice I conjure up when reading Bertie Wooster's Aunt Agatha, in the Jeeves books. (Jeeves, incidentally, is a great name for a bike. If you felt like keeping the bike impeccably clean and always feeling inferior to it, that is. But I digress.) I can just hear her saying things like, "Kindly do not treat me like horse, young lady!" And, when I find myself pumping hard, hunched over, trying to beat a traffic light, I can clearly hear "Unseemly! Sit upright and stop sweating, you vulgar young chippy."
And so on. Olivia has no patience for my impatient ways, and so I've learned to go at her pace. Which I was going at anyway, I just kept fighting to go faster. Even though, with all that effort, I rarely if ever went faster on Pepe.
|This is Olivia's kinda scene. (That is to say, all bucolic and shit.)|
It's pretty awesome, even if it does require lots of admonishments on Olivia's part. That's me, a headstrong young lass needing to be whipped into shape. By a bike.
(Let it never be said that my imagination gave out in my old age, people. The voices in my head are, as you can see, as alive as ever.)