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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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4/9/07 9:42 P

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DYMONDY2K
I second the motion! Don’t let your size keep you off the bike. If you check out the pictures on my Sparkpage, you’ll see a picture of my DH on his bike. He’s a big football player type guy, who weighs about the same as you, but loves to ride his bike.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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4/9/07 8:01 P

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Neither my road nor my mtn bike are women's specific. No need for it, for me anyways. I make a few modifications with parts, but that would happen no matter if it were womens or mens.

And Dymond, don't let your weight keep you off a bike.. my guy is about 15 lbs heavier than you, and it doesn't faze him at all. He's trying to drop weight, but he still rides. And rides well.

Edited by: MTNBIKENV at: 4/9/2007 (20:03)
Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/9/07 11:49 A

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I don't have a long torso, but still like a men's better.

1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (144,126)
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4/9/07 10:34 A

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Ride all those bikes. I'm on a men's Lamond - if you have a longer torso than usual the men's bikes fit better. I know my torso is longer because when my dh and I sit side-by-side we look eye-to-eye. He is 6" taller than I. Wish I had those long legs!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
2011




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DYMONDY2K's Photo DYMONDY2K Posts: 1,717
4/8/07 5:06 P

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wow this was a very good topic! I know I'm scared getting back on a bike, especially since I'm a bit larger than the last time I was regularly on a road bike. I agree with Kevin though, the opportunity to ride in France..Wow!

9/1/2008 280 lbs.

Goal #1 12/31/2008 250 lbs
Goal #2 03/31/2009 230 lbs
Goal #3 06/31/2009 210 lbs
Goal #4 09/31/2009 195 lbs
Goal #4 12/31/2009 180 lbs


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/8/07 3:25 P

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I am another woman who prefers the geometrics of men's bikes. And I'll second what DADDY said--try them all!

DADDY3636's Photo DADDY3636 Posts: 35
4/7/07 10:37 P

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LUTHIENTINUVIEL

You will do fine. I am having been on here for a few weeks and have gotten tons of very good advice. I have modified my bike to fit me better with advice of these fellow team members. I am riding 6 mile's a night now when the weather is good. My only advice on the bike purchasing is try several brands. Try them all. Each one has its different styles and features. Here most shop's let you take a spin outside that is when you will find out what fits you best. My wife for instance does not like the girl’s bikes because the cock pit is too small. The distance between the seat and the handle bars. The men’s bikes fit her better. Good Luck.


Road 22.5 miles with kids in the trailer as of 4/20/07

My goal is 500 miles by the end of the year.


 
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CB400F's Photo CB400F SparkPoints: (0)
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4/5/07 1:00 P

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Congratulations on getting a new bike!

I have a really bad back myself ... three degenerating discs, and an SI joint that keeps locking up. I'm in pain to some degree every day.

Every back pain is different, but cycling is great for me. I have kind of a psychological hangup about riding a bike that puts my head at about bumper level for all these SUVs on the road, so the recumbant makes me personally uneasy. But I live in a small cycling friendly town, and my home office faces a street that's a main route to the university. Every day I see recumbants, trikes, and all manner of modified and normal, old and new bikes coming and going. It's a little piece of paradise. :) And I've seen those recumbants out on quite long road rides. They'd certainly do the job for you.

Normally I ride a mountain bike, and love it. If you're only doing short commuting and want the flexibility to really get off the road, a mountain bike would be great, otherwise they're just too slow on the road.

If you're planning on doing almost exclusively city commuting, with no singletrack/trail off road riding, a hybrid would probably be perfect for you. Upright seating position, and really 'novice-friendly'. They're pretty slow though if you want to go on longer rides. I did do some pretty impressive road rides on my old hybrid, but they're definitely a handicap in that situation.

I found that a road bike was too rigid for my various injuries (back, shoulder, neck). But I'm going on some longer road rides now with friends. So to split the difference I got a 'cross' bike. To the novice it looks exactly like a road bike. But it's got the ability to have much fatter tires (which serve as a better cushion between your spine and the bumps on the road), they've generally got beefier brakes (which I really wanted, since I'm new to road riding and I'll be riding mine in the rain quite often), and the geometry of the bike generally puts you in a more upright position than on a strictly road bike.

Happy riding!!!

Edited by: CB400F at: 4/5/2007 (13:02)
~ Stephanie

Do one thing every day that scares you ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~ Mark Twain

Motivation springs from inspiration.


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ABIKER's Photo ABIKER Posts: 981
4/5/07 12:29 P

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Getting blown off the side of the road is always a concern. Somebody might have said this already, but it bears repeating and I'm too lazy to read through all the replies.

Most of the roads I ride on have no sidewalks and very little in the way of space on the side of the road. If this is the case, it is best to ride on the road, giving yourself plenty of room off the side to maneuver around potholes and such, with the flow of traffic.

If you ride on the road long enough you're bound to have a close call with a vehicle. It seems inevitable. Just take the precautions: wear a helmet, use lights and try to be visible to traffic.



~~Adam~~ abiker.blogspot.com
'08 cycling : 0/1500 miles
'08 running: 446/1500 miles



DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/4/07 2:39 P

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One more suggestion...Invest in decent padded shorts. Wear something over them if you must, but the padding will make your rides much more pleasant!

BLUESOX4113's Photo BLUESOX4113 SparkPoints: (19,751)
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4/4/07 2:05 P

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Try http://www.eowynchallenge.net/

Not all those who wander are lost.


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LUTHIENTINUVIEL's Photo LUTHIENTINUVIEL Posts: 55
4/4/07 8:37 A

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Thank you BlueSox. I am also interested for commuting purposes. Originally, I was going to just buy a bike when I got to France. I will be living in Le Mans and assisting an English professor at the University, which is about 7 miles outside of the center of town. I did my study abroad semester there two years ago. I walked a lot and took the bus a lot. But I thought it would be nice to have a bike while I was there. But then...I thought that I didn't want to go the whole summer without cycling, and while I could continue my indoor classes, I thought it would be much more fun to get outdoors.

I'm not nervous about the mileage or anything since I'll have the whole summer to work up to that and I already can handle relatively intense indoor cycle classes without a problem. I just don't want to get taken out on the side of the road :-)

But you guys have all given me the encouragement that with the know-how and the courage, I'll be fine. Thanks.

P.S. The link to the Ewoyn challenge on your website doesn't work.

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go to God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God


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BLUESOX4113's Photo BLUESOX4113 SparkPoints: (19,751)
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4/4/07 7:08 A

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Luthien (love the user name, by the way, I'm a huge LOTR fan, too): maybe my experience might help. I just recently started riding my bike to work, five miles each way. I started doing this because 1) I needed to save money (husband just laid off); 2) I wanted to bust out of this plateau; and 3) I saw "An Inconvenient Truth" and wanted to make a difference. This meant hauling my bike out of the basement and taking it to a bike shop to be checked. I HAD NOT SAT ON A BIKE FOR TWENTY YEARS.

And it has been okay. Really! I got on the bike, and I felt really shaky and scared at first, but I have slowly worked up to my commute. Now I'm biking every day, and I love it. I wasn't sure that I could do it either, but I can!

There is someone on my on-line blog who is an extremely experienced bike commuter who gave me a lot of tips about getting started. See my tagged entries here:

http://pegkerr.livejournal.com/tag/bicyc
le+commuting

and especially the comments on this entry:

http://pegkerr.livejournal.com/794289.ht
ml

especially this thread:

http://pegkerr.livejournal.com/794289.ht
ml?thread=7091377#t7091377

See also this website about bike commuting:

http://www.runmuki.com/commute/

I did it and so can you! Good luck.

Cheers,
Peg

P.S., since you're a LOTR fan, do you know about the Eowyn Challenge/Walk to Rivendell? See my Sparkpage for details.

Edited by: BLUESOX4113 at: 4/4/2007 (07:09)
Not all those who wander are lost.


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MTNBIKENV's Photo MTNBIKENV SparkPoints: (15,447)
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4/3/07 10:38 P

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You'll do fine! Heck I started with ONE mile, riding in jeans. LOL Wasn't much fun in the beginning, but things change! Focus on enjoying the ride. Nothing like the feel of cruising down the road. Or like what I also love, sailing down some sweet singletrack.

Marnie
RENO, NEVADA

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

LUTHIENTINUVIEL's Photo LUTHIENTINUVIEL Posts: 55
4/3/07 10:30 P

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Thanks again guys. I was having a low self-esteem day. But after an hour and a half at the gym and a nice theraputic shower and prayer session and Sex and the City (Yes I put Sex and the City and prayer in the same sentence), I am feeling much better. Tomorrow is Cycling day, and I will be sure not to miss class since I am no longer feeling ill. I'll keep you updated on the bike shopping as it goes along too.

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go to God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God


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KEVING10's Photo KEVING10 Posts: 297
4/3/07 9:51 P

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Wow what an opportunity. If I understand right you are going to be able to ride in France. That is wonderful. Unlike the US, Europeans are very big cyclists and treat them much better on the road. I would love to live in France for a while and ride. You will have a great time.

Trying to get going again after falling off the weight loss wagon!!



 
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MOMOF4GREATKIDS SparkPoints: (9,595)
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4/3/07 8:04 P

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Luthien wrote: "It's more or less that I fear that I will look ridiculous or something like that."

I'm snickering to myself.....have you seen other cyclists on the road, in hi-viz yellow, sporting spandex, helmets, dark glasses, fingerless gloves, balaclavas, elfish shoes, and what have you? Yes.........we look ridiculous. emoticon You must leave your pride at the door when you decide to go cycling (just kidding!) emoticon

You will do fine, I can't wait to hear about your new bike!

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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4/3/07 5:57 P

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LUTHIENTINUVIEL:
You’ve gotten some excellent advice from the team. Now for my 2 cents: Fear is good. There is nothing inherently wrong with fear. It keeps us from going down a dark alley at night. Fear is a gift to help protect us from unsafe situations (in fact there is a book entitled The Gift of Fear that I recommend for you). But, there are times when we should not listen to our fear (and allow it to rule us) and just go for it. If you know that you tend to be a fearful person, acknowledge the fear but do IT anyway. The person who has little or no fear also needs to evaluate the situation and maybe back off. So proudly say I’M AFRAID but DO IT ANWYWAY.

You are so blessed to live in this day and time! You can do some research on bikes before you go to the shop. Here’s a site that can give you the basics choosing a bike:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/trave
l/bikes-606/overview/index.htm
Here’s a site that gives you information about recumbent bikes and trikes:
http://www.icehouse.net/jim_d/what.html#
Top

I ride a recumbent and love it!! I switched form a road bike last year. I never had problems with my back on the road bike but did have numb hands and sore crotch. The recumbent is very comfortable and less stressful on your back and body overall, but they are not for everyone. One of the advantages of riding a recumbent is that everyone sees you when riding on the roads because the bike is so unusual.

Kellie


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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LUTHIENTINUVIEL's Photo LUTHIENTINUVIEL Posts: 55
4/3/07 5:33 P

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Thanks for the support guys. I am not going to buy a bike until I actually talk to the people at the shop and see what they think. I am planning on doing this over April break, which is the week after next. I guess it's not that I feel that I don't have the right legally to be on the road. And I know about following road rules and all of that. It's more or less that I fear that I will look ridiculous or something like that. Plus, my back hurts today, so it has got my spirit down. Yesterday I was feeling ill and I didn't go to cycling (or to the gym at all) and the inadequacy feelings were rearing their ugly heads. I'll keep you updated.

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go to God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God


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ABIKER's Photo ABIKER Posts: 981
4/3/07 4:11 P

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All very good advice. Now if I can bring it on home with a quote from the governor of the great state of California and star of the classic Kindergarten Cop. Put on your best Aaaanold voice and say: "Stop whining! You kids are soft. You lack discipline." Now get out there and ride!

All kidding aside, you came to the right group for some good advice and support.

~~Adam~~ abiker.blogspot.com
'08 cycling : 0/1500 miles
'08 running: 446/1500 miles



1234MOM's Photo 1234MOM SparkPoints: (144,126)
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4/3/07 3:29 P

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Luthien - I'd like you to actually go to the bike shop and try different bikes. Some places will let you take a bike for a day if you are a serious buyer. My sis actually broke a couple vertebrae when roller blading at the age of 55. She threw away the blades and took up cycling the next year, thought she'd have to ride a hybrid but found the road bike felt much better in the long run. If you work up to being on a bike over 45 minutes the hybrid will probably give you a really sore bum. I would suggest a road bike or a recumbant. I have a friend who takes her recumbant everywhere and rides with a cycling group. She weighs over 200 and can do a consistent 13-14 mph.

Get familiar with the bikeable roads in your area and try to avoid rush hour and you'll do fine on the roads. Drive that bike like a car, be sure to have a rear view mirror (i like mine on the helmet) and stay alert. You'll do fine.

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ *Linda¸.•*¨)
2011




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DAMIENDUCKS's Photo DAMIENDUCKS Posts: 3,855
4/3/07 2:44 P

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Ok, I'm not a terribly experienced cyclist myself (have been riding "regularly" for less than 1 year), and there's lots of good advice in previous posts, but here's my two cents anyhow: try it out! try different roads, different speeds, different times of day, and see what you like. If something doesn't work for you, adjust it--this goes for anything from the clothes you prefer to wear while biking (I'm a jeans & sweatshirt person, myself), to the gear you're pedaling in...the thing I really like about biking is that everything is totally customizable. So make yourself comfortable and enjoy the ride! (And remember, it's a learning process--I certainly didn't start off knowing how to ride a bike in traffic (even light traffic), but you live and learn; so give it some time before you make up your mind either way. Oh, and about riding on the road, you pay taxes on the road, right? So why have a little varitey in how you use the thing!

If I can't be a good example, then I'll just have to be a horrible warning. ~Catherine Aird

~~~__o
__ -\ , _
( * ) / ( * )
~~~~~~~


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RORYJO's Photo RORYJO Posts: 1,585
4/3/07 2:37 P

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The more I stay with the sp, the more I realize, how scared people are to 'embarress' themselves. Who cares if other think you have no right to be on the road. As it was stated before, every state has rules to protect and govern the rights of a peddle biker. And just to prove that I don't care what other think, I went out and bought a pair of spandex biker shorts! Those suckers were the best investment I have ever made, that and my clip shoes (which I was deathly afraid that I was going to fall off my bike because) I get a few comments, but you know, I can tell that those making those comments say it because deep down they wish they had the guts. They do have the guts, you just have to dig inside to find them! You go girl, go biking until your bottom is sore and your heart is content!

Any excuse YOU make...will work.

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise.
-Unknown

Success is a product of Failure, you have to fail AT LEAST once in order to reach sucess!


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MOMOF4GREATKIDS SparkPoints: (9,595)
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4/3/07 2:28 P

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Luthien mused, "who am I to ride a bike on the roads?"

This quote immediately came to mind, and it's for you dear one:

Who are you not to?


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. Thee's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson, quoted by Nelson Mandela



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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/3/07 2:18 P

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First of all, anyone can ride a bike on the road. It's right there in the Transportation Laws of any state. (LOL!) Just follow the rules of the road, the drivers should be paying attention to you (just in case they aren't you just stay a little extra alert). I can't guarantee you won't chicken out, but I really hope you won't get bored. The best part of cycling is that it can be as intense or as relaxed as you want it to be. You may settle into short easy ridess, to enjoy the outdoors; or use it as transportation on weekends, or to visit friends. It may just become another way to work out. Or you may decide that the best way to see a new place is on the seat of a bike, stopping when the mood strikes. You may become a distance rider, and enjoy centuries. Or find that you are more competitve and want to race, or compete in triathlons. What it gets down to is that you are not limited, and I am sure you will find something you really enjoy on the bike.

It is awesome that your father wants to get you this as a graduation gift, and you already are working with a local bike shop. If you are concerned about your back, you may want to consider a recumbent bike. They allow you to sit back and support your back while riding. There are quite a few recumbent riders here on Spark who could do a much better job than I can of explaining the benefits of them.

I am excited for you--I think you will really enjoy exploring France on your new bike, and I bet you will meet an entirely new group of people when you get out there on your bike. Let us know how you do!


MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
4/3/07 2:13 P

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Hi,
I bike in southern and western Maine in the summer. Compared to many other places to bike, Maine biking is some of the best. Stay off the major roads until you get a few miles under you. Find a quiet road with less traffic and just go out to ride and enjoy the scenery. There is no reason to worry about going out on rt. 2 or 1 or any heavily traveled roadway. Just pick roads that are friendly and quiet.

As far as the bike is concerned, get something that is geared correctly so you can go up the hills with relative ease - and get a bike that can accept both wide and skinnier tires. Use the wide ones for now and then you have the option for a faster tire if you want later on. Also don't overlook and entry level recumbent - like a Tour EZ or a Sun. They are great for back problems.

Enjoy.
Bob

Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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LUTHIENTINUVIEL's Photo LUTHIENTINUVIEL Posts: 55
4/3/07 12:52 P

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Hello all,

I am fairly new at this cycling thing. I have only done indoor classes so far. My father is buying me a bike for graduation so that I can bike over the summer and he is going to send it to me once I get settled in my appartment in France next year. I have some back problems resulting from an injury when I was working at the Post Office a couple of years ago, so we have opted not to buy a racing bike. We are looking at Hybrids and my dad has been talking to a bike shop that says they can custom build a bike for me within our price range.

I guess I'm just kind of scared about this whole thing. I'm scared that I'm going to chicken out or get bored with it just like I have with so many other activities I have tried. And this bike is a big investment for my father. My back problems are mostly what worries me. I love biking but I don't want to injure myself. I'm also scared about riding on the roads in Western Maine (the shoulders are not very wide, and sometimes they are non-existent). I have found a friend who says she'd like to take up biking with me, and that makes me much more motivated.

I'm just scared that maybe I'm pipe-dreaming. Who am I to ride a bike on the roads? I always thought it was those really avid athletes who did so. And well, I want to do this for exercise, recreation, and transportation. I'm feeling inadequate.

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go to God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God


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