Bimbo Moments on the Bike

May 16, 2012

In general terms I don’t think I’m a bimbo (some may disagree!), but I do seem to have more bimbo moments than your average person. Why this should be, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really care what people think so I make no effort to cover them up (or avoid them).  In fact I have on occasion been accused of being a drama queen as I enjoy the humour (and attention) when I work one of my bimbo moments up into a good story (at my own expense of course)! It could also be that I push myself out of my comfort zone more than your average Barbie, and it’s when I’m outside my comfort zone that most of my bimbo moments occur.

Needless to say, my recent forays into swimming and cycling provide ample opportunity for my bimbo self to shine. Particularly cycling.

As I have mentioned I have no particular interest in the technical aspects of bikes, only in their function and performance. However I’m starting to realise that to get the best out of my cycling I am not able to ignore the technical side of things. And now I’m going to apologise to those of you who are knowledgeable about such things, because as I relate this story I find myself limited by my lack of vocabulary to describe bike bits. I am starting to learn, but the words I’m picking up are in Danish and since I’m writing this in English it doesn’t really help much.

So, my lovely racer bike (I must find a name for her), has 20 gears. 10 on a big gear wheel and 10 on a small gear wheel. I was instructed that I can change from the big wheel to the little wheel using the lever on the left side. I can switch through the 10 gears on whatever wheel I’m on using the lever on the right side. However, since I’ve never had a bike with this arrangement before, when I picked up my bike I was advised to start out with it on the small gear wheel (the easier gears) which would be ample for my purposes to start with. So far so good…. (or so I thought).

Anyway, recently as I have gained confidence and speed, I have no longer been finding these gears ample and have frequently felt the need to be in a harder gear. However while I knew that in theory I could switch to the big wheel with the lever on the left, I was worried about how this would play out in practice. After all, whenever I felt the need I was already in the hardest gear on the little gear wheel and I could figure out enough that if I changed then I would end up in the very hardest gear of all, and I could see this ending very badly…..

I suspect that most people would just experiment, but while I can be very bold in many situations, there are others where I‘m rather timid (like when I imagine myself crashing onto the tarmac). So I figured it made sense to ask the trainer at our Sunday morning cycle sessions for advice. For some reason though, I decided to do it in front of the whole group. Big Mistake. As soon as I got the question out I realised this was another Kirsten Bimbo Moment. It’s not that they sniggered. There was just an atmosphere…. And OK, some lighthearted bantering. It turns out everyone else in flat Denmark cycles around using only the big wheel. They only use the small one for cycling in the Alps or the Pyrenees!  How come everyone knows this but me?

Anyway, Mr. Bike Trainer was very gallant and cycled alongside me to coach me through the big moment of switching from little wheel to big wheel. And lucky he did, because it turned out not to be as easy as expected. The system had seized up in disgust at my ignoring it and refused to switch! And luckily Mr. Bike Trainer knows lots about bikes so we were able to stop and he could help me sort it. Actually, that is a total lie. He didn’t help me sort it. He sorted it. He helped me by sorting it.

And the moral of this story? Do not be afraid of bimbo moments! The worst that can happen is that people have a laugh and more often than not you will learn something!


2 Responses to “Bimbo Moments on the Bike”

  1. Jo Says:

    So what is the right way to do that?

    • Kirsten Says:

      Well, as far as I can figure out it isn’t something you do very often or on the spur of the moment, but my understanding is that generally you just use the big gear wheel and if you did happen to meet an Alp on the road you would make sure you were in one of the middle gears before shifting to the small gear wheel so as to avoid a sudden dramatic switch. However I have yet to put this into practice so you can ask me again in a year!

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