Saturday, April 03, 2010
Yesterday the long awaited bike finally came home with me! It's a Trek 7000, which is an entry level hybrid, so it can handle roads and well groomed trails ans such. I will admit I have been extremely hesitant to 'get on board' the biking train, because of pain issues I experienced when last I tried cycling about 10-15 years back. At that time we tried every option we knew of, such as gel seat covers, to help with the bruising and pain, but nothing helped. This memory is what has kept me from following through on my desire to 'try again' and buy a bike for the past 2 years.
The good news is I've spent a lot of time talking to serious cyclists and the pros at a local shop call Full Moon Vista Bike shop here in Rochester, N.Y. (LOVE YOU GUYS!) and began to hope that the information I'd learned would alter the experience from painful to pleasurable. But my hopes weren't that high and until the car was stolen, I just couldn't justify spending all that money on something I honestly felt I'd use a few weeks and abandon.
However it now appears my pessimism was out of place; I couldn't be more overjoyed. The solution? Instead of buying just "any old bike" used from someone and hopping on, I invested time with the professionals discussing how I intended to use the bicycle and once we'd established the correct style for me, we then fitted the bike to my body. This involved a couple hours of getting on the bike, which was locked into a stand, and first trying various seat and handle bar configurations, then adjusting the height of each of those and finally, in minute increments adjusting the angle of both seat and handlebars until I could pedal along in place on the trainer with proper form. Voila! Cassandra is 'biking' and it doesn't even hurt!!! WOW.
Still, this is trainer. It's locked in place and there ain't no bumps and jolts to make my tender derriere cry in protest. Right? Turns out, not so much an issue. The hybrid the pros steered me toward has a bit more give in the suspension than a road bike --which is what those old used, beat up 10 speeds we used to buy at garage sales and ride were--and once they'd given me some pointers on 'how to ride', brake, mount and dismount properly, I headed the almost 5 miles home.
Within 2 miles I was having a grand time. I paid attention to posture, using my core to support me vertically and not leaning into my arms, as I'd been taught and found that by anticipating the bumps I could use my legs to help relieve some of the pressure on the seat. I was having FUN!
And I"m thrilled to report that this morning there is no pain or bruising or otherwise negative reminders. So today my friend, who has cycled all over the world and uses his bicycle much more than his car (here in Rochester, even in winter) is taking me out on a tour to teach me the finer points of proper cycling. And for some fun! Wheeee haw!! Don't worry, I'll remember my lessons of taking care of myself and try to stay well within my body's limits; I'm planning to take frequent breaks and stop the day before I hit pain, thus ensuring I get back on that bike again and again.
But the freedom I experience after all these months of having to rely upon transportation provided by others -- or me feets-- well that joy of being independent again and knowing I now have RANGE, I just can't tell you how wonderful that feels to an old independent, self-reliant, stubborn goat like myself. I feel like I've been released from a cage and it's bliss. Not that I'm gonna stop hiking any time soon, don't you worry. :)
Okay, gotta fly...urhm, I mean PEDAL! I'll tell you all about it...but probably not till tomorrow.
Happy Saturday and to you local sparkers, I hope you're enjoying this early summer as much as me!
Thanks as always for reading me! If you enjoy alternate forms of self propelled transportation and want to share yours with me, please do post in the comments. We learn and grow together on our healthy journey!
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