Tuesday, July 19, 2011

it's like riding a bike!

which is why we call it riding a bike. 

One of the things about my boyfriend that initially attracted me to him was that he was a really active person.  He plays soccer and rides a bike.  Mostly, he is a fan of mountain biking, but he genuinely enjoys any kind of bike ride.  I, on the other hand, have always been a swimmer, and as an adult, a walker (and now runner and walker).  I had a bike as a kid, but once I was old enough to ride my bike off my street, I was bored with my bike since I couldn't ride it back ONTO my street ( I grew up on a steep hill).

So he's taken up the challenge of running now, and we've double-dared each other to complete the Goofy Challenge this coming January!  We have run some races together already, and I really like training together.  It means a lot to me that he's jumped into this running thing.  We can talk about training runs, shoes, race strategy, aches, pains... running is a language few other people in my life speak.

And then he goes on a bike ride.  The writing is on the wall.  Must ride bike. I even WANT to ride a bike. People seem so happy riding along the rail trail.  So one day, a few weeks ago (a month?) we put a helmet on me, he adjusts his mountain bike for me, he gets on another of his bikes and away we go.  I don't know how to change gears.  i'm petrified as the first thing we do is go down a hill. and OMG, my lady parts HURT.  We finally get off the road and onto the smooth, straight rail trail and pedal along. Our destination was breakfast in town, 2 miles away.  By the time we got there, I feel sexually assaulted by this bike. My legs feel fine, so I focus on that.  The ride home was not any more comfortable, and that hill I started out going down... I had to walk the bike back up.  Not fun, but at least I didn't have to sit on that torture device anymore.

We decide that getting me some padded bike shorts is a smart idea for "next time".  I'm petrified to have to do that again. 

Then, a gift arrives.  Boyfriend's sister shows up at a family function with a bike!  She's got a new one, and just had a baby anyway, so I can use this one while I'm figuring out what I want to do.  This bike is for a GIRL.  it's got a girl's seat, a comfort seat, and while the bike is a bit too small for me (she's 5'1, I'm 5'6), it's still heaps better for me than that men's racing mountain bike.  I test it out and fly down the driveway, thrilled with the wind in my hair and not feeling anything on my butt.

So, this past Saturday, my no longer fat butt gets on this bike for a ride with my sweetie.  He gets on his torture machine, and I get on my cruiser-ish loaner with my bike shorts and some borrowed gloves.  I'm upset that the helmet doesn't match my outfit, but alas... We ride 7 miles down the bike path and stop to get a cold drink before returning home.  Yes, my butt hurts a little, and my lady parts are numb, but I don't feel like a victim.  we enjoy our drinks, and head back to town for lunch.  My legs are starting to get quite tired, and I'm worried I won't make it back home on the bike...especially with that stupid hill.  But the gears on this bike are MUCH easier to change.  With some grit and not a few reminders to myself that "I ran a damn half marathon THREE times, I can get up this stupid hill!!", I made it.  I'm sure it wasn't pretty, but it was pedaled.  We made it home, cracked open some cold beers and enjoyed the thrill of my victory.

I like riding a bike.  I fantasize about getting my own someday!  After Goofy though... one thing at a time.

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