CCKELLY3
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New Bicycle!

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!

~Cassandra

Copyright ©2010 Cassandra Kelly. All Rights Reserved
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ABRIDGESRNC
    Hope you enjoy your bike! I don't get out as much as I'd like, but now that the kids are getting old enough to ride on their owm, we are planning a lot of biking this summer.
    3707 days ago
  • ROYALETBONE
    emoticon Biking bliss!
    Don't forget- you also have a LOT less weight pressing down on that seat.... that helps in so many ways. The difference in biking at 350 and 200 is amazing for me... no pain? Wow!
    3707 days ago
  • GRACEFULIFE
    Ahh, the joys of two-wheeled transport. And freedom! Yay freedom!

    Give yourself a while but then make sure you learn how to bunny hop / drop off kerbs. When I used to city-bike a lot I got serious mileage out of those skills! Now if only I had a pedestrian stun ray... a bell? We don't need no steenkin' bell! Set your phasers to..... BURNINATE!

    3708 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/4/2010 12:13:32 AM
  • DDOORN
    Woo hoo to your new bike!

    I just got a new one myself a few weeks ago and while the fellows at my LBS were VERY helpful, I STILL had a tough time getting used to that new seat. After three painful rides I decided my stubborness was past the border of stupidity and bought a pair of padded bike shorts..."dorky shorts" as I was made aware through GRACEFULIFE and his Dilbert comic...lol!

    They've made quite the difference and I'm building my resilience by biking to / from work 9 miles away. Most of my rides are around 18-20 miles...would LOVE to build up to 100 miles this summer...did 45 last summer. Long term I have dreams of touring trips across the country...we'll see...! With that in mind I bought a bike that I believe will "go the distance"...a Specialized Tricross Double.

    You are well on your way to lovin' the HECK outta your bike, I can tell! :-)

    Don
    3708 days ago
  • 4A-HEALTHY-BMI
    I got out on my new bike today, too! :-)

    Other than the nasty head- and side-wind gusts, it was awesome.

    So glad your local bike shop was able to do right by you and your seat. With a name like Full Moon, I'd kind of expect them to specialize in that sort of thing. LOL

    Lemme know when you want to ride together and I'll buzz up there with my wheels and join ya. :-)
    3708 days ago
  • CCKELLY3
    Lol, Yes Barbara, who'd have ever imagined that a stolen -and totaled- car could be a LUCKY thing, but honestly, there is a sliver lining to every storm cloud. And this is a silver and black lining with 2 really fast wheels! Yee haw!

    Yee haw?? Did I just say that? Oh lordy, it seems the character I'm developing for the Western Melodrama The Brother's O'Toole is starting to infiltrate my non-acting life. :)

    Thanks Becky for the well wishes! I DID enjoy my day. Almost got run down once and had a few minor incidents as I learned the hazards of road biking in a city that thinks there's something mentally wrong with you if you aren't in a car...but hey, that made it more an adventure. More details to come...as soon as I soak in a long bath and ease the soreness out of muscles I didn't know I had. :)
    3709 days ago
  • BARBARA_BOO
    This blog really helps me. I'm easing back into more biking. I ride my Peewee Herman bike (coaster brakes, no gears) around the neighborhood and on a nearby bike trail. Last week I bought my first helmet, and I'm googling local bike laws, in preparation for getting out on the roads that have a bit more traffic, so that I can ride to the beach and some stores.

    I am intimidated by today's modern biking and bikes that have to be fitted. So, your description of the process that led to your bike purchase tells me what I need to do next. Talk to the guys at Transitions (local bike experts) and start learning.

    How lucky for you that the car was stolen!
    3709 days ago
  • BECKYI39
    Enjoy your day!!
    3709 days ago
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