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August 20, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Old Ladies on Bikes

I decided to go for a bike ride this evening.  The nights are getting noticeably cooler and darker, and it dawned on me that those ultra-long days we enjoyed in June are going to be ultra-long nights this December.  So I went for a bike ride.  Soon after I left, I saw the cutest group of old ladies on bicycles.  I have never seen such a thing.  It was awesome.  I think that the oldest one was in her 70s.  If I am 70 and still riding a bike, someone please give me a medal.  Two of them had helmets on.  The third was a rebel and let her snow-white curls fly in the wind.  I was so excited that I had to get a picture of them.  They were so cute.  It might be condescending to say that, I don’t know.  But I can say that the sight of them made me really happy, like I was witnessing a real life version of the Golden Girls:  Beijing. 

We were all on a wide street with no traffic.  The old ladies started swerving at each other like they were going to run each other off the road.  They were laughing and joking about it, having fun.   I thought this was awesome.  I readied my camera.  But there is no good way to say “Hey, you old ladies are adorable and I want to post your photos on the internet, ‘kay?”  So I pulled my bike over to the opposite side of the road and held my camera over my head like I was trying to take a photo of myself.  I clicked away, hoping to catch the old ladies riding away just so I could prove that I saw them. 

This is me getting busted by the lady on the pink bike.

This is me getting busted by the lady on the pink bike.

But the lady on the pink bike turned around as I was taking the photo.  “Are you trying to take a photo of yourself with the mountains in the background?” she asked.  “I can take a picture of you if you want.”  She then circled back toward me and slowed down, like she was going to get off her bike.  (Note to self: If you are ever in this situation again just say yes.) 

“Nah,” I said.  “That’s okay.  I don’t want a picture of me.”

“Then what the heck are you doing?” she asked, clearly puzzled. 

“I’m just taking a picture of the mountains,” I said.  “Just the mountains.  Not me.”

“Then why are you backwards?” she said.  “You could turn around.”

Thanks for pointing out the obvious, I thought.  Then I started to try and make up a good reason why I was pointing my camera backwards even though I didn’t want myself in the photo.  “I’m just taking pictures of the neighborhood,” I said.  “My husband wants me to research neighborhoods in the area.”  What an idiot I am.

I took a real picture, trying to convince the lady on the pink bike of my innocence.  But she was too smart.

I took a real picture, trying to convince the lady on the pink bike of my innocence. But she was too smart.

“Are you just taking pictures of crazy old ladies on bikes?” she asked.  She really asked this.

I laughed.  “Yeah, that’s it,” I joked.  Except I wasn’t really joking.  I hoped I sounded like I was joking.  I decided that it would be a good time to start pedaling.  So I did.  The lady on the pink bike rode to catch her friends, which were a ways down the street but waiting for her.  Since the night was quiet and the street empty, I heard her yell “She’s taking pictures of us!” to her friends.  I pedaled faster.  I could hear the three of them now, but I didn’t hear what they were saying.  I glanced back and all three of them were pedaling toward me and talking loudly. 

Of course I had to hold up the camera as I was pedaling away. They are in the upper right corner...see the small pastel blurs?

Of course I had to hold up the camera as I was pedaling away. They are in the upper right corner...see the small pastel blurs?


I thought they couldn’t possibly be coming after me.  How ridiculous would that be.  But maybe they watched a lot of 60 minutes, and decided that there was something wrong with me and I was taking photos of them to…what?  What would I be doing with photos of old ladies?  Clearly I need to watch more 60 minutes.  Anyway I did the old trick of making a bunch of left turns.  I’m not sure where I learned this, perhaps old episodes of Get Smart.  Every time I made a turn, I pedaled like hell to the end of the street.  And when I turned around, the Golden Girls would be on my tail (though a long way behind me).  I think they wanted to ask me what I planned to do with the photos.


Of course I was trying to take photos of all this while pedaling...but it was getting dark, I was scared, so I mostly got pictures of my head.

Of course I was trying to take photos of all this while pedaling...but it was getting dark, I was scared, so I mostly got pictures of my head.

So I did what any smart blogger would do…I pedaled faster!  I realized that I had a healthy dose of adrenaline coursing through my veins because there were elderly women chasing me on pastel-colored bicycles.  Seriously, it’s the stuff of nightmares.  Cue the Jaws music.

I dashed and darted up and down streets in an effort to shake them.  I looked behind me before I zoomed into the garage.  I shut the garage and ran inside the house. 

I hope they don’t know how to Google.



Leave a Comment
  1. Alisa / Aug 27 2008 10:13 pm

    This is just too cute. I love seniors! They just are so very special!

  2. Greg / Aug 25 2008 5:43 pm

    This reminded me of that
    Seinfeld episode where George Costanza gets chased by a group of seniors on their electronic scooters (I forgot what they’re known as).

    Ooh, I must have forgotten about that one! I felt a little George-y…

  3. Miss Virtual Reality / Aug 24 2008 2:17 pm

    Those old ladies remind me of book, the Ya-Ya siserhood.

    Perhaps they thought it was funny to chase you back, maybe they wanted to make you scared for taking photos of them!

  4. teeni / Aug 22 2008 8:48 pm

    Yikes! I would never want someone taking a picture of me without my permission and posting it on the nets. Especially if I were wearing a helmet and riding a pink bike. The mountain pic is really pretty though. 😉

    I figured that they weren’t too recognizable. Like I said, I sure hope they don’t Google and find me out…I will answer my door one day to a trio of knife-wielding ladies with pink helmets!

  5. tookshire / Aug 22 2008 6:51 am

    Saw this on the front page of WordPress. Loved the story. Thanks for the laugh.

  6. Allison / Aug 22 2008 4:33 am

    That’s hilarious. That sounds like something that would happen to me. I wish we lived closer to one another…I would totally help you take pictures of vivacious Golden Girls. Much easier (and more convincing) with two people.

    Oh, that would be great. I can’t take photos under pressure. If you’re ever passing through Bozeman, look me up and we’ll go look for funny Incidents!

  7. Digital Dame / Aug 21 2008 7:31 pm

    You should have told them you were researching an article on women who ride. I bet they would have been tickled to get their picture taken for it.

    See now why can’t I think of these things under pressure?

  8. morethananelectrician / Aug 21 2008 6:45 pm

    At least the pink bike lady didn’t get plastered by a truck as she was looking at you and pedalling down the road. That helmet wouldn’t have done her much good.

    and that blog would not have had the same tone, either.

  9. Christine / Aug 21 2008 5:58 pm

    “but it was getting dark, I was scared…”

    ROFL!! You rock.

    it was scary. i can’t help it…

  10. bluesuit12 / Aug 21 2008 7:13 am

    Too funny! I love how an innocent activity like bike riding turned into an episode of America’s Most Wanted. “If you’ve seen this woman (pic of you flashes on the screen) please call. She’s wanted for photographing innocent old ladies on bicycle.”

    GREAT. Now I have THAT to worry about…

  11. smalltownsmalltimes / Aug 21 2008 6:30 am

    Okay, first of all, I love where you live, it looks beautiful. Second, I loved this story. Those pastel biker ladies had a lot of spunk to come after you. This was hilarious.

  12. crisitunity / Aug 21 2008 5:49 am

    I love the way this post was written – towards the end I was imagining you huffing and puffing and taking pictures as you were chased by the old ladies. Chase music was playing. It was a funny image.

    My guess? I think they wanted you to take pictures, to share them among themselves, to record the moment.

    Ooh, that is a good thought. It would make more sense.

  13. carli / Aug 21 2008 5:27 am

    hahaha serves you right for that time you let the german shephard chase after me when we were kids. it’s only fair you get chased by a bunch of ol blue-haired bandits

    Just because I had enough brains to stop running doesn’t mean I “let” it chase you…but wow you probably set a new world record for the 400 during that sprint!!

  14. Ian / Aug 20 2008 8:48 pm


    You totally reminded me of this sketch:


That's what she said!

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