As Easy As Riding a Bike
The group of friends I run with decided we should do more cross training (we should). It was decided we would add bike riding to our routine. I’m not a fan of bikes ever since I was twelve and I rode into a fence and flipped over on my bike. It doesn’t help that I grew up on a busy road. To keep me safe my parents painted a white line at the end of the driveway that I was not allowed to ride passed. That meant my biking basically consisted of riding around in circles in the driveway, which made biking dull and made me afraid of riding on the road with traffic. So I pretty much haven’t touched a bike in over seventeen years. I don’t even own one.
For this adventure I borrowed an old bike from my parents. The rear tire needs to be inflated before every ride. There are gears which I’ve never had before and don’t know how to use. There are also handle breaks which means that pedaling backwards will not do anything to help you stop. The last time I rode a bike pedaling backwards did the trick.
We leave for our ride at 5AM, which means it’s dark, and I have a mile to bike to get to our meeting spot. The first day out I’m smitten early on. The breeze feels good. I don’t get sprayed by the skunk I ride by. It feels like you cover so much ground, and, most of all, I feel like a kid again. When we all take off together I imagine we are in the scene from the Sound of Music where they are learning Do Re Me and they are riding in a pack down the street. An hour later, toward the end of our ride, all I noticed was how much my butt hurt from the pressure of the seat, and I whimpered at every bump we approached. The next day I was sore in new muscles (a benefit to cross training). Shins play a major role in bike riding. I found that hills seem harder on a bike than on foot.
I enjoyed it far more than I expected. Riding early in the morning certainly helps. I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if there were a ton of cars on the road. It’s always good to try new things and revisit old ones. We might be pleasantly surprised.
Now let’s just hope the group doesn’t decide to swim. The only swimming I know how to do is on the mat in Pilates.