I’m not the most coordinated person generally, but I am even more disgraceful on a bike.  Back in high school, I went biking through some hills when I pulled on my front brakes while coming down a slope.  As you’d expect, I flew over my handlebars and skidded a couple of yards on my shoulder, leaving a good layer of skin behind on the gravel.  It took about a month for my shoulder to heal, and I can still vividly remember the agony of changing the gauze every day.  Ripping the cloth off of the raw, pink skin while it oozed clear, yellow plasma.  I don’t think the actual fall was what made me terrified of bikes.  It was probably the gauze.  And the plasma.  And the nerve endings that I lost in this whole ordeal. 

                       

A few years ago, I actually convinced myself to get on a bike again.  This time, I rode for a good five minutes before I almost killed myself.  In my defense, I was biking through Berkeley campus and everyone knows that it’s hilly there.  I actually remember approaching the downhill slope and trying to decide what to do with my brakes.  In my head, it made sense that I shouldn’t brake because…I mean…look what braking did last time, right?  Anyways, I flew down the pavement, hit the curb, sailed over my handlebars, and dove head first and helmet-less into the bushes.  In some ways, this was worse than my first accident.  One, because the bushes were in the middle of a traffic circle.  Two, because I had to crawl out of the bushes and retrieve my lost shoe.  Three, because I had let out a piercing, girly shriek on my way down.  I’d say that was the moment I decided once again to quit biking forever.

     

This past weekend, I found myself wobbling on two wheels.  Fall has come to Boston and the river is the best way to drink in the beautiful foliage that is so quintessentially New England.  I had envisioned an afternoon of relaxed biking through picturesque scenery.  Maybe cruise down to Fenway and visit Jamaica Pond.  Of course that didn’t happen.  I borrowed my roommate’s bike and I was terrified the whole time I was on it.  Partly because it was too tall for me, but mostly because I had to re-learn how to bike.  Even though I was ill prepared to bike through the busy streets, I went anyway for a short tour around the Esplanade.  I wish I could’ve enjoyed the scenery more, but I was preoccupied with keeping both my hands on the brakes and praying that I wouldn’t tip over into oncoming traffic.  Why is biking so hard on the nerves? 

Minus the anxiety, it was a beautiful Sunday morning for a bike ride.  I admired the cityline from the top of the BU bridge.  Climbed a tree next to the river.  Learned about the “smoot” marks on the “Salt and Pepper Bridge.”  And caught a cold from the chilly Fall weather.  To celebrate my safe return home, I hit the kitchen and made some swiss rolls. 

                   

In case you’re wondering, I photographed these rolls on the ground not because I don’t have a dining table, but because the living room happens to receive the best natural lighting.  And unfortunately, I do not yet own a coffee table.  I also think it’s time I buy myself a dSLR.  My point and shoot is great, but has trouble focusing sometimes.  Probably because I’m so rough with all my electronics. 

Chocolate Swiss Rolls with Strawberries from Christine’s Recipes

Instead of green tea match powder, I used cocoa instead and added strawberries into the filling. 

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