I don’t remember learning to ride a bike. I don’t remember my first bike. I remember the pink one with the banana seat. I remember the big old blue bike with twin baskets on the back. It was a single gear bike. But it got me around town and to school.
In grammar school I began to save up my birthday and Christmas money. When I had enough my Dad and I went to the local Bike Shop and ordered my first new bike. It was a red ten speed. A boy’s ten speed. My Dad preferred the strength of the boys frame. So I learned to start by putting my one foot in the pedal toe clip, pushing off, and swinging my other leg over the back of the bike.
Once I grew too tall for that bike, I bought a blue ten speed. Boys frame again.
I rode all over the local area. I rode to work at the day camp that I worked at during the summers. I rode in all seasons. My Dad belonged to a bicycle touring club and I would sometimes go on lower level rides with the group. We even did a couple of bike camping trips with the Club.
Then I went away to college and worked full time during the summers. My blue bike sat in the garage. Finally, Dad asked if he could donate it to a group that refurbishes bikes for kids who can’t afford them. We donated my bike.
7 years ago M’Lord and I bought our house in a great area for local biking, including being near a canal with a walking/biking path where the old tow path was. So we bought bikes. This time I actually bought a girls frame. My silver Cannondale is a 15 speed hybrid that I can ride on or off road. No typical ten speed curved handle bars and skinny seat. It has shock absorbers and wide tires. I rode around locally. But I was out of shape and then got pregnant. The bike sat in the shed for most of the last 6 years. I’d go out for a short ride every once in a while. But the bike mostly sat in the shed. M’Lord, on the other hand, uses his much more often than I have, including riding 17 miles each way to and from work at times.
This year I started to mix running with my walking, at the suggestion of my OB, to get my heart more fit. I asked M’Lord what it would take to get my bike back into working order. He thought that I’d need new tires, new cables, and some other work.
However…when I got home from grocery shopping this morning I found him out back with my bike upside down. He’d checked and refilled the tires and given it a basic tune up. We fixed the seat height as I rode around the yard a few times. It seems to be fine.
So after lunch I put on my bike shorts and took a 3.6 mile ride around the neighborhood. My knees were not happy about the ride, which means the seat needs adjustment, but I did alright. I just have to remember which ways the hand grips turn to shift up and down again. Half of my shifts were in the wrong direction, which is not fun while trying to go uphill after years of not using my legs that way.
While my legs will be sore tomorrow. I got out on the bike and can now mix my cardio workouts between running/walking and biking.
Either way, my legs will not be happy with me for a while.