Finding Your Sport: Cycling

Now that I am eating better and feeling a lot healthier, I am getting motivated to find my sport.   That passionate physical activity that I want to do all the time.  At one point in my life it was swimming, at another point, running.  Both were great exercises and I was even able to compete.  But swimming no longer interests me, the only chlorine I want to submerge my body into is a steaming hot jacuzzi.  Running would be great, easy, simple…but my knees…ouch!  They just aren’t the same as they used to be.

That’s really me! At a college meet.

My dad, who lives in SoCal, has recently taken up bicycling. He’s been doing it all summer and his enthusiasm is starting to rub off on me.  He absolutely loves it!  So it’s started me thinking, is this something I want to try?  Will I fall in love with it like he has? Or will I buy a bike and let it sit in the bike rack until it rusts up?

So, knowing me, I started to do some research. Come to find out, I live in a huge biking town, and the reason I don’t see very many bikers is because there are trails that they use!  Imagine that!  I’ve seen the mountain bikers on the trails when I’m hiking, but I’m talking about on the streets.   Also, there is a lot of cycling clubs and stores and all kinds of resources for me to dive into.  The more I think about this, the more I am getting excited to do it.

A few things were/are  holding me back:

1. My butt. I know it’s going to hurt. I did a spin class once and it just about killed me! But my dad reassures me that I’ll get used to it and that I wont see “serious bikers riding on cushy seats. Really.” ha ha! Well, I might go cushy at first.

2. Winter. Where I live it snows, and its right around the corner. Is this something I want to get into right in the middle of a season change?  I read a pretty good article about winter biking and after reading it, I’m pretty confident I’ll be okay. I just need to keep everything covered and my nose, toes & fingers warm.

I have those boots! & he reminds me of Darth Maul

3. Getting Hit By A Car.  This actually really did freak me out. People here drive crazy. So I went onto google maps and mapped out the bike route I would take from home to work.   It’s less than five miles and the route is either on a bike trail or smaller streets.  This made me much more comfortable. Also, one of the articles I read said to make sure I make eye contact with drivers and signal so they know what I’m going to do.  Also, I like the idea of putting lights on my bike and reflectors on my clothes.

4. Crashing.  I can get off balance sometimes and be clumsy. I’ve been knows to trip over those “imaginary” things on the ground and  I have to jog on flat surfaces because I will most likely stumble it if I don’t.  I am sure I will probably eat it on loose gravel or maybe a slick winter road.  It wont be fun, it’s going to hurt, I might cry, but I’ll get back up and keep going.  OR I might not crash at all!  Or I might run into a parked car, or light pole!!

A pole!

5. A bike.  What the heck kind of bike do I get?  I think one of those beach cruisers would be sweet!  But, not practical if this is something I’m going to be serious about.  Also, those really skinny tires kind of intimidate me, I’m not looking for speed here, not now anyways.  Here’s a pretty good article about choosing a bike for beginners (I was surprised there were no tricycles mentioned!)  I’m thinking I might go with hybrid. But, before I whip out my wallet, I will head down to one of our local bike shops and ask some questions and maybe even test ride a few.  Then I’ll check out some thrift stores, yard sales and craigslist, just in case it does end up sitting in a bike rack rusting up!

So, after doing my research and talking to my dad, I am fearless about going down this path. To be passionate about a sport, something physical that I LOVE to do!  To be fit and healthy and to be green, its so simple and minimal.  Cycling to work will save me a lot of gas and wear and tear on my car, AND I wont have to deal with the parking garage at work.



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