Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bun of Steel

We're planning a trip to Hilton Head for the summer. We've been there before and found it to be a relaxing place to visit for a week of swimming and generally behaving like obnoxious tourists.

In addition to flashing way too much pale skin on the beach and not traveling anywhere without a tremendous rolling cooler stocked with enough beverages, sandwiches and goodies to make the loaves and the fishes seem like a mere snack, one of the requirements of tourists at a resort location like Hilton Head is to rent bikes.

Non-sexy resort bike.
These bikes -- like rental bikes at all resorts across the world -- are not cool. They are not flashy, or stylish, or built for speed. You will never see supermodels riding bikes like these during a photo shoot. And, if you're lucky, no one will photograph you while you are riding one around the resort. No, these bikes are built for three things only: (1) durability, (2) comfort, and (3) being so unattractive as to dissuade potential thieves from stealing them for fear they will never find anyone desperate enough to want to own such an unattractive bike.

The first time we went to Hilton Head, our boys were still young enough to require our bringing their bikes with us. Our Daughter, however, has never liked bikes. You see, when learning to ride, some children, like our sons, fall off their bikes and get right back on until they figure out how to balance and pedal and brake. Other children, like Our Daughter, fall off their bikes and live in fear of them for the next ten years.

Until recently, Our Daughter preferred her scooter to her bike. As every other kid in the neighborhood raced down the block faster than the posted speed limit, she kept pace pushing with one foot. That trip to Hilton Head four years ago was no exception. While the rest of us pedaled the four miles from our rented condo to the shopping district, she shoved herself along and often led the pack.

Our niece, whose family had vacationed with us that week, observed that Our Daughter would develop a "bun of steel" from her scootering efforts. I kept waiting for her to pass out from all the extra work, but she soldiered through and never complained.

This time around the scooter is not an option. An 11-year-old on a scooter is one thing, but a 15-year-old on a scooter reaches a whole new level of weirdness, like a 4-year-old still carrying around a baby bottle, or amateur party clowns. Anyway, in the past year or two Our Daughter has learned to enjoy her bike. She's no natural at it, but at least she no longer treats it like some wild beast bent on killing her.

© 2013 Mark Feggeler

1 comment:

  1. I guess if given a choice between a squishy hogie roll of a butt (which I already have) and a bun (not plural) of steel, I'd chose the bun of steel.

    I am sure your vacation will be delightful, Mark...