Look, I have a bike!
Before buying this, I had not ridden a bike since I was 12 years old. And I had never ridden a bike with gears or hand brakes at all. I went to REI, and the sales lady had me test ride a bunch of bikes. This was pretty awkward at first because it took me a little while to remember how to ride again. For a while, I could not get the bike started. I was on a tiny little sidewalk, trying to stay off the street, but I was too wobbly to get started in that confined space. So I moved to the street and got going there.
I tried road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids, and eventually settled on this hybrid. It’s got the kind of tires that can handle dirt and gravel, but it’s designed more for comfort than a mountain bike would be. It’s geared, extensively so, which is important for biking around here because we have very steep hills.
I soon learned that the bike itself is only the first purchase. Then you have to buy the helmet, the gloves, the water bottle, the water bottle holder, the kickstand, the bike lock. And I’m going to need a bike rack for my car.
The goal is to be able to go riding with my kids. I told myself I would buy a bike when both my boys were up and riding, and now they are, so I kept my word.
Yesterday I took it for a ride around the blackberry trail (1/3 mile) and came back absolutely exhausted. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get up the hill, even with gears. Burn burn burn. Today I did the same thing, only I went around the trail twice. Came back puffing and panting, thighs burning. I thought I was in pretty good shape. I strength train at the gym and I walk to and from school almost every day (1.5 miles). Apparently biking involves an entirely different set of muscles. I’m going to have to build up my endurance a lot more around the neighborhood before I’m ready to hit the trails with the kids. Also, my butt is sore. Time to go lie down.