Cycling Fairy Tales
Little Red Mountain Biker
and the Big, Fat Motorist
One day Little
Red Mountain Biker was out on a little fitness ride to her grandmother's
house in the country, about 20 miles. When she was nearly there, she found
herself being harassed by an overweight wolf in a sports car. Recognizing
the danger of being hit by his car or being attacked in the lonely woods,
she suggested to him on one of his passes that he meet her at Grandma's
house, the last house on the road at the edge of the mountain, where "no
one is home."
That gave Red a
little bit of peace, but when she got to Grandma's, the wolf was the only
one there and was evidently waiting for her inside, either in the living
room or possibly even in the bedroom. Rather than go inside, Red shouted,
"I'm going for a short ride into the woods, do you want to come? You can
use Grandpa's mountain bike. We'll have the woods to ourselves."
Well, the wolf
was not delighted with the opportunity to ride a bike; however, being in
the woods alone with Red greatly appealed to him, so he followed. A short
distance into the woods, Red chose the trail that plunged off of the mountain.
On the 1,000 foot
descent, he was not able to quite catch her because of difficulty in controlling
the bike. His bulk did give him some advantage, and he got very close to
her at the bottom where he was sure she would stop to rest. However, Red
had different plans, and immediately began the return climb on another
trail. The wolf realized that it was now or never and used his downhill
speed to nearly catch her. As he was huffing and puffing and straining
and gasping, she turned and looked at him. She said, "Oh my, what big bloodshot
eyes you got!" "All the better to see you with," he managed to wheeze out.
She continued, "And what big red ears you got!" "All the better to hear
you with," he gasped. "And what a big, fat belly you got!" "All the better
to, to ..." His mind was fogging up; he was seeing spots in front of his
eyes. Just then, Red said, "Well, good-bye, I've got to hurry back to town;
I don't want to be late to teach my Taekwondo class." Then she put the
pedal to the metal and rapidly accelerated up the steep hill.
Hours later and
long after dark, the wolf reached Grandma's house again, badly dehydrated.
There he discovered that Grandpa was the county sheriff and that Grandma
was a women's rights activist. They had a lot to say to him before they
let him leave in his car. But the wolf was no danger anymore anyway; he
had completely lost his taste for Red. He preferred the small, weak, and
helpless type; Red was small, but she certainly was not weak or helpless.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
needing new wheels, so she went to the Three Bears' Bicycle Shop. The first
type of bike they tried to sell her was too heavy, with big fat tires.
"I don't ride off-road," she said. The second type of bike they tried to
sell her was too light, with tiny tires. "I'm not into racing, either,"
she said. The third type of bike they tried to sell her had moderate-sized
tires and would be useful for touring and commuting. She said, "This type
of bike is just right."
The first bicycle
they brought out for her to try was too big. She said, "I need a smaller
frame than that. My legs are not that long, and I would be stretched out
too far." The second bike they brought out was too small. "Even if I jacked
the seat up high enough, the distance between the seat and the handlebars
would be too small. The third bike they brought out was just right.
The seat that came
with the bike was too soft. She said, "These soft seats are no good for
the long miles." The next seat they showed her was too hard. "I'm not going
to be racing," she said, with her eyes wide. The third seat they gave her
was just right.
And so on. Before
she left the shop, Goldilocks made sure that she had exactly what she needed
on her bike. The Bears were glad to make the money, but they were happy
to see her go. "I hope all of our customers aren't that fussy," they said.
started home. The first route she tried had too much traffic. The second
route had too many speeders. The third route was just right, so she used
it to return home.
an important rule in life: if you are willing to settle for whatever people
want to give you, you'll never get what you want.
The Ugly Bicycle
Once upon a time,
there was a little, ugly bicycle, that was always being made fun of. Other
vehicles said to his mother, "It would be all right if he were a little
Honda or Civic. We could even accept a little motorbike. But we see no
reason to be kind to a bicycle."
When the little
bike went for rides, the big cars would honk at him and sometimes try to
shove him off of the road. They said, "We don't think bicycles should be
allowed anywhere except on a sidewalk." The little cars would be even more
offended and would honk repeatedly. And the motorcycles and motor bikes
would tease him mercilessly. But most dangerous were the big RV's, who
liked to pretend they didn't even see him.
But the ugly bicycle
persisted. He started riding farther and farther away from home, hoping
to meet someone like him.
One day at a store,
he met some mountain bikes who were strapped to the side of an SUV. The
mountain bikes suggested that he pull off his fenders, get some fat tires,
and spend the rest of his life being carried around on a car. But the ugly
bicycle said, "But I like to ride for long distances on the road," and
that remark so offended the mountain bikes that they wouldn't talk to him
Then, one day,
the ugly bike saw a large group of beautiful bikes following him. They
quickly caught up to him and continued to pass him without even giving
him a glance. These bikes had no fenders, carriers, or bags, just tiny
rear cogs and beautiful paint jobs. Some of them were Italian. These bikes
didn't seem to mind riding on the road, and the cars seemed to treat them
with respect. He tried painfully to keep up with them, but he was too slow.
The ugly bike thought,
"One day, I'm going to be like them," and he decided to pack his bags and
run away from home.
But his trip was
very difficult. He wasn't being carried on a SUV nor was he traveling in
a pack of other bicycles, so he had to face indignities from other vehicles.
Because he didn't have fat tires, he sometimes bogged down in the mud of
a back road. And because he was carrying all that weight, he was slow at
crossing the mountains. But he persisted anyway. He kept going mile after
mile, mountain after mountain, state after state, and he kept getting stronger
and more self-confident. The other vehicles quit bothering him, but he
still had to watch for their careless mistakes.
As he continued
to travel, a strange thing began to happen. He started liking himself for
what he was. The mountain bikes might be better on rough roads, but they
weren't as fast on the smooth roads. The lightweight bikes might be faster
on the smooth roads, but they couldn't get on the dirt roads at all. Neither
the mountain bikes nor the lightweight bikes had racks and panniers to
carry supplies and equipment for a long trip as he did. Neither could ride
after dark as he could because they didn't have lights. Neither had fenders
like his to allow riding in the rain. He had the qualities necessary to
travel long distances under adverse conditions.
Then one night,
when he was looking for a place to camp, he discovered another bicycle
that looked a lot like him. This bike had a stout frame, racks front and
rear, lights, fenders, and big bags just like his. He thought it was the
most beautiful bicycle he had even seen. And it was a woman's bike, too!
He thought the smaller front wheel, the narrow handlebars, and the slightly
wider seat were so beautiful! Even more to his amazement, he discovered
that this beautiful bike found him to be very attractive. She was impressed
by his bravery and his long journey, and she had been on a long trip also.
They talked and talked about their travels. While talking, he realized
that it was OK to be himself and not try to be like other bicycles. Indeed,
the ugly bicycle realized that he wasn't really an ugly bicycle after all;
he just had qualities that the other vehicles couldn't see.