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A Wannabe Cycler’s First Wild Ride

The more fitness blogs I read, the more seductive the idea of riding bikes has become to me. For one, I kind of hate driving and cars. This is partially because I am a total space cadet and get lost/turned around easily. That’s something I really miss about living in a city – being able to comfortably get around by foot and subway to almost anywhere. I lived next door to a grocery store and a movie theater, 10 blocks away from work/school, 20 blocks from nice parks, and 40 from the waterfront. A city is just designed for walking. But, now that I’m in a more spread out place, cycling may be able to fulfill my desire to travel by car less around town, and as I learned today, it’s quite a good workout!

Luckily, I found my cyclist yoda in Cville to help train me in the basics and shop for my first road bike! And what a good teacher he was, making me do little stopping, turning, and water bottle grabbing drills around a parking lot. Since I don’t have a bike yet, I rode his mountain bike with the tires switched out for road tires. And he let me borrow a jersey so I got to totally look the part. I’m glad cyclists can be a little vain and have cute matching outfits!

And while the hills of Cville, VA are nothing compared to the ones I grew up on in WV….damn. Cycling was more intense than I planned on. I got some pretty strong legs but my arms and abs are gonna need some work. But today was a good test of concept of the whole cycling thing, I think I can definitely get hooked! Cars were less intimidating than I feared, but I much preferred riding on the small tree covered roads further out of town.

End of the day, covered about 13 miles. And I was thoroughly exhausted. Especially after the huge hill I had to climb to get back. I feel like every hill today had a stop sign/red light in front of it…total buzz kill.

After refueling on PB+honey sandwiches, I went to a couple more shops to try out some bikes. I think I finally have an idea of what my size is and what feels right. So, I know what I’m looking for, yay. One shop ordered a promising bike in my size that I should get to test out next weekend! These bikes definitely handled much more smoothly than the mountain bike I ran earlier. I joked to my friend that it looked like a guy on steroids – big on the top with skinny legs (wheels).

I didn’t realize how hard it was to find a shop with bikes in your size – that was one unexpected hurdle in the shopping journey that I’ve had.

It’s exciting to learn new things, face fears, and challenge my body in new ways. Good Saturday!


One Response

  1. I think you’re going to love cycling! You can get as nuts or keep it as casual as you want. Best of luck!

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