When I was a little kid, riding bikes was my very favorite thing to do. I lived in a neighborhood full of kids, and I loved the freedom and the speed I had available to me. It was a safer time, so as long as I was back before dark, I was free to go where I wanted.
My ex-husband is very athletic, and cycling is his sport. Before he moved to the states (he’s English), he did a lot of road biking, but living in Atlanta and Bloomington, Indiana, there were a lot of excellent off-road trails available. I ended up getting a mountain bike of my own, which I used while we were married. Since the marriage ended, I haven’t been on the bike at all. I’ve moved many times, but I always knew I’d get the bike working again. This week, I finally got around to doing just that. My apartment isn’t in a great starting place for bike rides, but my new office is. For a grand total of $120, the nice guys at Flythe Cyclery got my old bike working again. The bike is living at my office instead of at my apartment, so when I’m downtown, I can get wherever I need to go so much more easily.
I picked up my bike Friday night and brought it to its new home. Saturday morning was my first outing. It was a pretty ideal time, since Raleigh was a wasteland (most people were traveling for the 4th of July). I simply went from my office to Helios, had breakfast, then went back to my office. Not a huge adventure, but it let me know that (1) the bike works (2) Helios isn’t very far away and (3) Lane is a handy street for me. From that adventure, I could already tell that being on a bike is going to help a lot with my sense of direction, which is something I desperately need.
Today was adventure #2. My friend Clara met me at my office with her bike. She’s got all the gear, clipless pedals, the whole deal. She looks like a real pro. Lately, she’s been riding with our friend Joe who’s a SERIOUS road cyclist. The other day when we hung out, she’s just gone 32 miles. I wanted to go for a real ride, but not a JOE ride! We ended up going all over the place. I kind of wish I’d gotten one of those Map My Ride apps for the iPhone so I could say how far we’d gone and where we actually traveled. All I know is that we were out for a full hour, and I saw a lot of corners of Raleigh I’d never seen before AND… I didn’t pass out. While I have been suffering from a low-grade migraine all day, I did make it. The nausea did begin to get a little bad near the end, but it was only annoying, not inhibitory. Overall, I had an awesome time, and I can’t wait to go out again. While I’m really happy Clara is heading to St John’s soon, I’m bummed she won’t be around for lots of rides. Being out there with someone else really keeps me going further than I would alone.
Anyway, I’m just thrilled to have a working bike back in my life. I hope to use it a lot.