8.20.2013

the accidental cyclist

Mine, mine, mine, it's really all mine now.

After waiting for a sale that would never come, I went out and got my new bike last week. The local bike shop sold out of the model I wanted so I had to call around until I found another shop had one in stock and it was $20 less. Yay! After taking it out on a few rides I realized that I needed bike stuff, badly. So off I went and picked up a helmet, blinking tail light, moisture wicking short-sleeve riding shirt as well as boxers, and a smartphone holder at my local REI (still a dangerous place for me even with my newfound miserly powers). I learned on my first two rides that I really dislike being circus freak sweaty and prefer a drier feel. I kind of forgot how mentally challanged most CA drivers are which is where the helmet and blinking red taillight come into play. I'm hoping this is a case of have not need, and save the helmet the duty of saving my bacon. The smartphone holder is waterproof and keeps my phone safe while allowing me to still interact with it. This allows me to not have to reach into my pocket while riding to work with the bike ride tracking app (Strava) I use as well as being able to play Ingress

Since I hadn't ridden a bike since I was a kid I'll offer a few Am-Tips (amateur tips) which I hope might help out anyone looking to ride again. First off I rode the thing like I was ten years old. I went balls to the wall when I should've been pacing myself. I got real dizzy halfway when the thought dawned on me and I slowed down. After that things got easier and the burning in my legs subsided. However I needed the help of a few beers and aspirin to coax the soarness completely away. The other thing is, if you happen to get a bike with 21 gears be sure to read up before going out and trying them all out. This was a major contributor to my pain from the first ride. Turns out even though you have 21 speeds you can't actually use every single one of them. Technically you should only be using about 13 of them because you'll stretch your chain based on the angle of the gears. There are volumes of info explaining this in better detail so I'll leave it for you to find as needed. Luckily my mistakes took place on the first ride allowing me to have a smoother time of it on the second one. I even doubled the distance. Can't wait to ride w/the beagle this winter out there. The major coup is that I'll be saving gas money on market runs while keeping the healthy activity up. 

On the emotional and/or mental side of things. I fucking LOVED it!!! The kind of freedom it invokes in you is unsurpassed. I get that it's just a bike ride, but you reconnect the kid with the adult in you in an unexpected way. I suppose this feeling might be magnified since I'm also crashing with the folks this summer. You can't help but feel like a kid no matter how old you are when in the precense of your parents I guess. It's one of those physical activities that allows a Zen state of mind where you can really focus thought. Ok getting way too inner something here. Sorry, choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep.

She was extremely unhappy about
not breaking them in today.

While I was there I found a drastically reduced set of the Ruff Wear XXS shoes with Vibram treads for the beagle. They released the new line of shoes Summit Trex just like they said last April in I've got dreams and were priced at $55. The prior model of Grip Trex shoes I found were only $18, and in her size. Baby's new shoes were scored! 

6 comments:

  1. Oh cool! That should be so much fun. Are you planning on a basket for the beagle or having her trot beside you? I use to do that with my doggie. Make sure the basket is in the back. Have fun.

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    1. For now she'll trot alongside me, but there'll come a day when she's too old. I'm picking up a used bike trailer (the kind you see parents hauling kids in) for groceries but also for Bridgie when she finally gets too old.

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  2. Nice bike.
    Out west, I badly needed shoes for the big dogs I had traveling with me. I used duct tape and cloth. Not good but it worked well enough. Now I travel with a little old lame dog (Cricket) that needs carried most of the time. I'm looking for a simple back or front carrier for her. Most cost a lot and I can sew well enough to design something, I think.

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    1. There are those old world baby sling things where you just wrap, insert baby (or doggie in this case), and tie off. You wouldn't even have to sew a stitch.

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  3. Okay, Edie.

    I've tried biking in recent years, hoping to recapture that ancient magic. It's more like wetting myself in terror and falling over. I'm glad it can be different.

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    1. Balance GoodLuckDuck-San, Balance! |-)

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