Weighty Matters

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Like Riding a Bike

on September 14, 2013

You know that old saying when you try to do something you haven’t done in a while? “It’s like riding a bike,” they say, meaning that once you know how, you don’t really forget.

I put that theory to the test today. Literally. I just bought myself a brand new bicycle! It has been at least 15 years since I rode a bike. I know that because I haven’t ridden once since my mother passed away and that’s coming up on 15 years. It might be closer to 20 years, but who’s counting. Clearly it’s a lonnngggg time.

As you know, my doctor and I want to incorporate even more vigorous exercise into my activity. The challenge is how to do more in my already busy days. I already know I hate the idea of going to a gym. There aren’t additional Zumba classes held at times when I’m not working. I can do more at home, but it just seems to lack a little of the oomph I need. So, I’ve been thinking of bike riding which would be good with my weaker knee, fun, and it’s also something that I can incorporate into other activities by just allowing for slightly more time. For example, if I give myself an extra 15 minutes, at least that’s what I’m estimating, I can ride my bike back and forth for Tai Chi classes. On a night after work when I’m not committed to something else, I can take a bike ride. I can even do so and still also take the dogs for a separate walk. We’ve already established that Nat and Pyxi do not like to keep up quite the pace that I need for cardio.

We have a good bike shop in town, so I stopped in today to check things out. I was honest about my long hiatus from bike riding and what I wanted it for. The guy was great and showed me different models that he thought would suit. “Want to take one out for a ride?” he asked. “Sure,” I answered and wheeled out the door. “If crash, my health insurance card is in my wallet.”

Honestly, it really was like I’d just done it yesterday. I immediately found my balance and tooled around the parking lot, confidence growing with every spin of the tires. We adjusted the seat height (Boy is that a lot easier to do than it was when I was a kid.) and I took another test. That quickly, I was sold.

The new bike is beautiful! Sturdy, simple, well-designed. Bonus — I got it in light purple! The bike shop owner was attaching my accessories (lights, bell, water bottle holder, rack for removeable basket) a little while ago and now I’m going to pick it up and ride home. Planning to be smart about this endeavor, I bought a helmet too.

The next phase of fitness has begun and, in this case, spinning my wheels is a good thing!

So I took my bike out for a spin this evening. I need a little practice because my balance is fine but my steering is a little wobbly. I wasn’t confident when passing someone on the bike path. I sort of overcompensated. I might have crashed, um, closely investigated a hedge. No fall. No harm done. 😜

3 responses to “Like Riding a Bike

  1. Hope says:

    Yay! I used to bike to work. It was about 7 miles (completely destroyed me the first couple of weeks, but it wasn’t so bad after that). I wish I could bike to work now, because I have almost no time to work out. But it’s 12 miles away and there’s not a good way to get there that doesn’t involves scary roads, so it’s not really all that feasible.

    I bet you’ll be up for an 11 mile ride sooner than you think! Maybe not practical on a regular basis, but I bet it’s a distance you’ll be able to handle.

  2. Skye says:

    How cool! I used to love riding my bike. I lived on a cul de sac and wasn’t allowed out of it until I was 12, so I would ride around and around the cul de sac. And to school. And in college. But riding a bike in Seattle with it’s narrow streets and large amounts of traffic scared the crap out of me, so I haven’t been on a bike in 20 years. But occasionally I think it would be nice (and then I remember the last time … *shudder*). 🙂

    Your bike sounds lovely, especially the color. And if the seat makes your seat sore, there are special seats you can get built just for women, to take the pressure off the sensitive bits. And yay for you for buying a helmet!

    Is your work close enough that you could ride to work? Lots of people do here. Seattle is a huge bike-riding town (even though it terrifies me), and lots of people ride to work, or ride to the bus and put their bikes on the bus bike racks.

    Happy cycling!

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