Because Girls Ride Bikes

Every now and then, someone will ask me if I'm still riding my bike. "Hey, you still riding your bike?" Yep, still riding.

Usually, they follow that question up with, "Oh. Even though, you're like... you know, since... you know?" And I just stare at them like they're insane.

Of course I still ride my bike. Women definitely ride bikes. And no, they're not all riding in the slow lane, taking it easy while shooting selfies. They're racing downhill at breakneck speed, charging up mountainous hills, dipping and swerving through the pack on a curvy stretch of roadway, and much more. They're riding a hell of a lot better than I can, and a hell of a lot better than most of the guys out there who don't think women ride bikes.

Besides, even if they are taking it easy and enjoying the ride instead of slogging through a sufferfest, what business is it of yours? They're riding their bikes. So, yeah, I still ride. Even though... you know...

Of course, most of the people I talk to aren't putting it that way. They're not shocked by women riders, and my being transgender isn't really the problem, either. They're just connecting with me on a level they understand. It's a bike thing; we speak bike. They're aware that I'm going through a major life change, and they want to know how I'm doing. I'm doing quite well, thank you.

Quite well, that is, until yesterday's ride. About a quarter of a mile from my apartment I slipped on some rotting leaves and got thrown to the ground.

Fortunately, I was able to roll into the fall and cushion the impact. My right wrist took most of the damage while my left leg got a nasty scrape. There's a bruise on my right knee, but both of them hurt, for some reason. Aside from my wrist, which is kinda messed up now, all of these are minor and easy to ignore. What I couldn't ignore was the searing pain shooting through my right breast.

I'm into my 5th month of hormone replacement therapy, which means breast development is definitely underway. The area just below the surface of the areola is tender to the touch on a good day, but can get achy on bad days. This was an ok day; barely noticeable. I wasn't wearing any kind of sports bra, just a compression shirt to keep some even pressure and support them on the bumps. But landing directly on my chest, putting almost my full body weight on top of it, crushing the soft, spongy tissue and the developing bud in my right breast was more pain than I could take in that moment. I looked myself over, checked for any major injuries, and then scooted myself over to the curb to cry for a few moments. It hurt that much.

I've fallen before, and it's usually not a big deal. This fall, again, was not a big deal. But I've got these new, extremely sensitive areas that I'm not used to protecting. I haven't gained the instinct to protect them, yet. And so, I paid the price. It still hurts even now, nearly 24 hours later.

I haven't been checked out by a physician, but from the conversations I've had with friends, I should be ok. Several friends assured me that they've fallen many times while developing as teenagers, and I should be able to continue developing just fine. It hurts like hell, but it's part of growing up and getting used to protecting sensitive areas.

In the meantime, it's supposed to reach the lower 70s today, and that's prime riding weather for me. I'm not going to let this stop me. Girls definitely ride bikes -- even transgender girls.


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