When last we met, our intrepid heroine (me) had just face planted on the bike trail. If you need to find out what on earth this grandmother was doing on an e-bike, you can read that part right here.
The afternoon was passing, and we still had about 18 kilometers to ride before we got back to the hotel. The weather was perfect, sunny with a cool wind and gorgeous passing clouds. It had been a really memorable day, and I didn’t want to ruin it for everybody by being a wimp.
So we pedaled on, up and over the dunes of Sylt (look it up). Paul kept on checking back, to make sure I was OK. Katja and Jorg, our hosts, were riding ahead of us, but more slowly than I knew those two healthy, annoying Germans could go.
Lucas, sweet young man that he is, stayed more less beside me, making sure that I wasn’t about to have a heart attack or anything.
For the first ten minutes after my ignominious spill, I went really slowly. My knee ached, and my shin was all scraped up. My right hand hurt, and I was still sure I was going to get a black eye.
And I was scared. REALLY scared. My legs and hands were shaking as we rode along, and I kept fighting back tears.
I mean, come ON. I’m 60 years old! I’m overweight! I have fibromyalgia! I fell off a freakin’ BIKE! I wanted my hotel bed. I wanted that hot shower. I wanted the spa.
I wanted a big big glass of wine.
But I was a trooper. I chatted with Lucas, and slowly everyone sort of relaxed. I pedaled mostly with my left leg, which spared my sore right knee, but which I knew would give me serious left buttock ouchies the next day.
As I looked out at the dunes all around us, and the lovely pale heather that covered it, I decided to take out my cell phone and make some little videos of the ride. This would accomplish two things.
It would let me make a record of this magical place, and it would let everyone know that I was a tough old bird who wasn’t about to fall apart after one ass-over-teakettle maneuver. So I reached into my bra and took out my phone.
See, Katja had talked me into buying skinny jeans, because my old baggy Levis were so unsightly. I was wearing said fashionable skinny jeans that day, meaning that my pockets were too small and way too tight for a phone. So….I had stashed mine in my bra, which has plenty of room, thank you.
Now I pulled it out, checked it quickly to make sure it was on video, and started to record. Please keep in mind that I was riding an e-bike, now with only one hand, along a path through the dunes, and into a strong wind. I held out the camera, narrating as I went.
“To my left you can see the majestic dunes, with the North Sea churning beyond.”
You get the idea. I guess I was aiming for something along the lines of the Discovery Channel meets Masterpiece Theater. I thought I did rather well.
We passed through a flock of sheep, went up and over the dunes, and came back into the town.
And so, at last, after riding the distance of a marathon, my sore knee, my scraped face and my bruised hand got back to the hotel. We hugged our hosts, thanked them profusely for a day we will honestly never forget, then made plans to meet for dinner in an hour.
Up to the room we went, Paul and I, for a good hot shower and a short rest.
I headed to the shower first, given my various scrapes and bruises. I undressed slowly, carefully.
And here I have to explain something to you. For reasons which my doctors can’t seem to explain, I bruise like an overripe peach. Bump the edge of a table, I’ll have a black bruise for two weeks.
So I stripped. Huh. My knee looked fine. Sore, but no bruise. A tiny scrape on the shin. My face was completely unmarked. What a relief!
Next I took off my shirt and bra and let out a howl that brought Paul running.
My right breast was sporting a baseball sized, dark purple bruise. There was a matching one under that breast, and a slightly smaller one just above my navel. I looked like I had been beaten with sticks. It was grotesque, I am not kidding!
After the shock wore off, and I realized that they didn’t really hurt that much, I relaxed and took my shower. At least I had figured out where the handlebars ended up when I crashed.
As Paul took his shower, I decided to look through my photos and videos. I mean, it had been a pretty humiliating afternoon, what with the splat on the bike trail. Now the huge ugly bruises on my flabby self made me feel even worse.
At least my videos would make me feel more competent. I thought about my talented narration. Booting up the video clip, I smiled to myself.
And I saw this:
Ahahahaha! I have four video clips of my own jowls…..and none of the narration even recorded…