Several years ago, I lost 70 pounds by dieting and exercise (don’t worry about getting jealous, I’ve gained it all back by now). My main exercise was bicycling. I would take off early on Saturday and Sunday mornings on a riverbed trail in Orange County, California, and ride to the beach and back, 24 miles round trip! I wore sweat pants and a sweatshirt over a bikini top and bike shorts. As the morning warmed up, I would take off the sweats and clip them to my clip rack behind my seat. The weight loss had gone to my head a little, and I enjoyed taking off the sweats and showing off my new thin body.
Well, you know what they say about pride…
There I was riding along the trail. Several people did a double take to watch me ride past on my bike. I thought smugly, “Hey, I’m looking good! I am so hot!” Once a man shouted out, “Excuse me!” I ignored him. I’m married, I thought, I can’t respond to your flirtatious advances. I knew I must have looked hot, because more and more people were turning to look at me. Some were even pointing. Life was good. I looked great.
Suddenly, a man riding the opposite direction than me on the trail, skidded to a stop and turning his bike around started to chase me on the trail shouting, “Hey, lady! Hey, lady! Stop!” I ignored him also, hoping that he would leave me alone and wasn’t some sort of stalker.
I peddled faster to get away. He peddled faster too and called out to me a few more times. “Hey, Lady!” I wondered what kind of sick freak would call someone lady while stalking them. I was convinced he was a sick puppy.
I peddled faster. He did too. Now I was getting worried. Should I scream? Should I skid to a halt, hop off my bike and try to run? Oh my gosh, I didn’t think of driving men crazy when I lost all this weight! I’m going to die from beeing TOO hot! I peddled faster sure I was about to die.
His voice rang out again —
“Lady, really, stop! Your bike’s on fire!”
I looked back behind my seat and sure enough, my bike was on fire. My sweat pants had slipped through the clip rack, and the friction of rubbing against the back tire had started them smoldering. Black smoke billowed from the fabric.
To make matters worse, when I stopped the pants burst into actual flames. The kind gentleman (who was panting like crazy because he’d been chasing me for about a half mile) helped me pull the clothes from the clip and stomped out the flames. It was then that I realized people had not been looking at me, but my smoking behind. I was hot all right, just not in the way I’d imagined!