fun with cycling, parts 1 through 6

part 1: do i really want a bike?

i looked online for used, and new. . . walked by the cheapies in walmart and thought, ‘how bad can they be?’ i discussed with my brother the styles and what to look for and debated why i shouldn’t get a ‘cheapie’ . . . i researched styles, weighed pros, cons, . . . .

finally i ended up in my local shop asking about a trek/ commuter/ touring/ comfort/ city bike with a number in my head. . . and they had one that fit my number. . . as well as me, (hey, i’m short, i need a short bike). as i debated if i really wanted it, being that i had a perfectly good hybrid sitting in a dark storage unit in southern california, the owner of the shop had me take it out for a spin. practically pushed me out the door with it in my hands.


smart guy

the slightly weird thing is that it’s red. i never intend to buy or own red bikes, but all of mine have been red. . . .(except for one maybe, my memory isn’t so good.) my first real bike was a red bmx bought at a garage sale. . . there might have been a 10 speed in my teenage years that was gray and pink, with the curly handlebars?. . . or maybe i just coveted it. . . . the hybrid i got in virginia (the one aforementioned as being held captive by my storage unit) is also red. i named it drusilla. . . i was watching ‘i, claudius’ at the time.

part 2: muscle memory

on my first spin i crested the hill at the top of my driveway and turned left. since i was a kid i always took a bit of the sidewalk on the left of the road until traffic cleared so i could move to the right of the road. i turned left and my first instinct was to stand on my pedals. i second guessed myself, why would i stand on my pedals? this bike is far more comfortable than the bmx i used to ride around on. standing on my pedals just made me feel cool, right. . .it’s how they did it on that movie, bmx bandits? i decided to sit. . . turns out my muscle memory was there for a reason. i always stood because the sidewalk is incredibly uneven. . . and hasn’t changed (unless it’s gotten worse) since i was young. it wouldn’t matter how comfortable your bike seat is. . . you don’t wanna ride over that. lesson learned.

part 3: take in the scenery and the wildlife

take them in, but don’t hit them. i nearly hit a deer. . . or, more likely, it nearly hit me. i ride a less travelled area through higley flow. there is quite a bit of wildlife. . . i just didn’t expect it to come charging out at me. guess i scared the deer enough to send it back to the woods. . . lucky me.

part 4: finding my limits

i used to ride my bike a lot as a kid and teenager. during the summer a friend of mine and i would push out early morning and head to south colton. our turning point was somewhere near sunday rock. . . and a local store. it was always chilly in the morning, so we’d wear leggings over our shorts on the way out. at the end of the first half we’d each get a ‘hot mama’ slim jim thingy and ditch the leggings then ride back to play basketball. it was nearly a 10 mile trip. . . and some of the hills are kinda killer, or at least they look that way now.

i’m doing 10 miles at a time through higley flow. the hills aren’t as difficult, but there are a couple of challenges. on the first ride through i kept visualizing my legs as pistons or as part of a train chug chugging along in order to keep pushing. i was happy to see how far i could push my leg muscles. . . it was my stomach that nearly gave out. i don’t remember if i had something that was spicy earlier that day or what, but making my way up a particularly steep but gracefully short hill i had hot bile make it’s way up my throat. i spent the rest of my ride belching it out. attractive, huh?

part 5: gotta love the small town bike shop

i stopped in a week after getting my bike to start adding to my accessories. first, the gloves. i bee-lined for them. . . the owner tallied the price, but left off the tax. i reminded him, but he just waived it off. i reassured him about how much i loved the bike and he smiled and said, ‘good, keep riding, and let that girl over there know how much you like it.’ there was a girl debating over a couple of bikes. it turned into a 20 minute chat as she told me what she was looking for, and how she planned to use the bike, etc. i gave her a quick rundown of the research i did, gave her some suggestions about what to look for, and finally left telling her that she should take one for a test drive.

i’m pretty cheap advertising.

part 6: on the move, sans music

when working out or going for a walk, i’m always accompanied by music. . . or a podcast, or some aural fixation.

i’m hesitant to do so while riding around traffic (that and i can hear if my gears are acting up, or if my brakes need adjusting). for the time being, it would seem that the sound of rushing wind is enough to satisfy. off that i found it so annoying when the wind would pick up on my walks and drown out my ipod. . . and it seems i can’t get enough of it riding. the wind acts as white noise. it only breaks when i turn my head. facing forward is like listening to a channel with nothing but snow, and turning my head is like hitting the mute button.

hey. . . make your own fun where you can.

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