First Trimester

Friends, I am birthing a bicycle.

I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I know you would have loved to share it with me, the suspense, the satisfaction, the shopping online. You would have nested with me in my growing collection of parts, agonized with me in my dim knowledge and doubt.

More importantly, you would have followed the storyline from week to week, telling your friends, and by now I would be a national blogging cult figure. These are the chances we miss in life.

But you know how it goes. You hardly want to mention what's happening during the first trimester, just in case. Then suddenly you're in the middle of preparations. It's all-consuming. And finally the week is here.

With a lot of people's help, I am building a mountain bike. N., who has not once pointed out that I am spending a good wad of our money to build a contraption guaranteed to incur medical bills.

The Groody Brothers. Pretty much everybody at BikeSource who rides a mountain bike, because they have all listened to me babble about this project and answered a raft of questions. Coach Tina, who manages the women's section there and who is taking as much care over this bicycle gestation as if it were her own. The Earthriders Mountain Bike Club -- I'm a member, but online am a lurker, so while a lot of people would know my face from the trail, they have no idea they've been invaluable. Except for Cyle, who gave me an armful of awesome lightly used tires, plus a Topeak mini pump.

And Zoolander, who is back from metaphorical Timbuktu and who has looked over my shoulder as I research parts, pointed out options, advised me on gearing, listened as I obsessed over every detail, and sold me sweet wheels. He will be midwifing the bicycle this week.

Tomorrow: the story of how a person who is so mechanically un-inclined that she cannot figure out that little sliding door-prop mechanism on the screen door decides that she will build a bicycle.