Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No, I'm not going to commute this way

It's just for fun. I got a bike! I haven't owned a bike since I was a little kid and too small for an adult bike. A few times in my pre-teen years I rode my dad's bike. Once in my adult life I attempted to ride my mom's bike with my brother to the store. I was a bit wobbly and every pebble on the street made me scream like a ninny. When we got to Central, my brother eyed the convenience store across the street, and then the curbs and median, and rolled his eyes. "You just wait here. You'll never make it," he said, before hopping off the curb and riding OVER the median. This is something I will never be able to do.

I wanted a bike to cruise around the neighborhood in the nice summer evenings. It's unfortunate that I work evenings, so I am limited to just two evenings a week for potential bike riding. I have also discovered that the area I live in has lots of hills. Steep hills like Mt. Everest that you don't notice when driving.

Anyway, Mark drove me to Costco where I picked my bike. It's not but a few miles from home, and we have small cars. So I decided I'd just ride it home. There is a back way where I don't have to ride busy streets. I hadn't been on a bike (besides the above incident) in about 20 years, so I was a little wobbly. Another thing about bikes now is that you wear a helmet, which makes you feel like a HUGE dork. But supposedly it's good for your skull when you are hit by a car and go slamming into the pavement. The whole helmet thing makes me want to say, "In my day, we didn't wear no stinkin' helmets. When we fell off our bikes, we cracked our skulls open and our brains slid out. And we didn't cry like no babies. We liked it!"

On to the Costco story: I DID buy a helmet because I'm always reading about bicyclists getting hit by cars and killed in this city. I started riding through an apartment complex to get to the back street. The wind was in my face and I felt like I was flying. It was the most wonderful feeling. Until I got to the hill. And I swear, the street went straight up into the sky. I felt like with every pedal, I was going BACK a yard. I was dizzy. Gasping. ...

... This might be a good time to add that I have been really sick the last few days, first with a long, severe migraine and then with a mini-bout of food poisoning or something that made me barf the morning of my bike excursion. So I was not really up for any excessive exercise after 5 days of headaches and nausea. ...

I get off the bike and start walking it. Now I'm a dork in a helmet biking in flip-flops and I can't even ride it. After a while, I notice a creepy youth walking a ways behind me. I approach the top of the hill and decide to lose that freak. On I go, till I reach another hill. It's close to my house, but it's steep enough that even when walking, you breathe really hard and wonder when it will end -- and I love walking up hills. I can see my street, but it feels like it just keeps getting farther away. I can't breathe, my chest is burning. My head is pounding, and I think I'm going to barf. I keep telling myself I can do it -- not to be a wimp. But I couldn't. I had to walk it again.

When I got home, I really was going to barf. My body had been too sick to handle that level of exertion. My head hurt so badly and I had to lie down awhile.

This morning, I felt healthy. I wanted to ride my bike, but midday in New Mexico is rather toasty. I also had to admit what kind of wimp I was on the bike, so I thought about which way I could go that wouldn't have any steep hills. I thought about taking my 3.5 mile walking route, but once I got riding, I realized my butt felt bruised from the day before. There was no way I could make it that far, so I just took a 20 minute ride, then finished my workout on the treadmill at home. I always thought my butt had excessive padding. What good is it?

That's my story. I can hardly ride a bike. My legs are too wimpy, and so are my lungs. Hills terrify me. Cars terrify me. I hate the nerdy helmet and my butt hurts so much.

Here is my Schwinn 21 speed (not that I know what to do with speeds ...) It's white and claims to have a padded seat.



plasticpumpkin said...


Amy said...

i'm jealous of you and your sore butt, robyn. i really, really want a bike! you are courageous.

Schmutzie said...

You've been featured on Five Star Friday:

Sriracha said...

I found my way here through schmutzie's post. Just wanted to suggest some road tires for your biking experience. I have a sturdy cheap-ish bike from Target that weighs about 50-500 lbs and taking the mountain bike tires off it was the best move I've made yet. I think you'd be surprised at the difference it might make in your day.

Lori said...

When I first got my bike, I was amazed at the difference that padded bike shorts made. Yeah - the lycra didn't look too good on my overweight body. But they really help. And you can find them in loose, non-lycra styles if you look hard enough.

I also felt like a HUGE wimp. I struggled to go 5 miles. But if you keep at it, you will be surprised at how far you will be able to go!