Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cycling Like I've Never Cycled Before...Literally

When I was a kid I loved to ride my bike.  My first bike was a red tricycle with a white seat and it was awesome.  Then I had a pink bike with a basket and streamers and clickers on the spokes.  I thought I was pretty cool.  That was the end of me owning my own bikes though.

After that all my bikes were inherited from adult family members.  I started my no training wheel adventures on a banana seat bicycle my mom passed onto me from her childhood days.  We even added pegs on the back wheels so we could ride two in the seat, one on the wheels, and when adventurous another one on the handlebars.

In grade school I rode an old brown bike with orange handle bars that I got from behind my grandmother's shed.  It was the ugliest thing ever and the only thing that made it worse was the neon yellow helmet I had to wear to make me "highly visible" after my mom helped out at the scene of an accident where a young boy on a bike was hit by a car at the end of my cul de sac.  That bike had three gears and was a little clunky, but it still got me home on school lunch breaks to swim in hot weather before I had to boot it back to class while eating on the go.

My next bike was a shared bike between me and my mom.  It was her teenage years bike.  White with ram horn style handlebars.  It had lots of gears and I remember feeling proud of myself for mastering her bike because I could not touch the ground when I rode it since it was set for her height and not mine.

Eventually my dad decided that he could part with his bike because he had not taken it out of the garage in many years and giving it to me would mean my mom, brother, and I could all ride together.  It was the first bike since my pink one with streamers that I truly liked because it was royal blue and had 18 speeds.  The only problem was it was a boy's bike which didn't matter to me, but my friends thought it was strange.  I rode this bike right through university.

The first bike I bought was when I met Chris.  He convinced me to get a mountain bike because that is what he loves riding and we were going to ride together.  I had only owned road bikes before that, but I went along with his suggestion.  I like my bike, but I'm not convinced that mountain bikes are for me.  I have a really hard time adjusting to the fact that I have to lean down onto my handlebars rather than ride sitting upright because my other bikes all had raised handlebars.

That was a much lengthier recap about my cycling ownership history than I thought it would be.  The whole point was to get to this part which is cycling like I've never cycled before...literally.  Chris rode my bike a few times while his bike was in the shop.  He was surprised to see how low my seat was.  I have been riding it so I can touch the ground flat foot on both sides.  Apparently this is incorrect cycling positioning.  He raised my seat and I teetered on my tip toes, especially on our sloped driveway, and then he sent me out cycling.!  It was sooooo much easier to peddle.  I actually topped out on my gear speeds at one point (a first!) and I made it up all the hills on my bike rides two days in a row!!!  That folks means I met one of my goals highlighted on the right-hand side of my blog.  Yeah me!  And, thanks to Chris.

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo!!! Way to go Amber! I think that's awesome. I don't own a bike but have plans to hopefully by next summer. I've ridden plenty in my life, but have always found hills to be daunting and end up walking them as well.

    I love your intro to this post by the way. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of your biking adventures. Congratulations you must feel great.