So, for a few years now I’ve been riding a recumbent bike in the morning… I am fortunate enough to have a gym located at my office that has, what I feel to be, THE BEST recumbent bike!!! It’s a bike by SportsArt Fitness… and it rocks! It’s plain and simple the best exercise bike I’ve ever ridden (and I’ve ridden quite a few at various gyms over the years).
Well, about a month ago my hero-of-a-hubby bought a Trek bicycle (a road bike, lightweight and meant for speed) and has lately been sporting some nice-looking spandex … it obviously inspired me to get back out on the road. My 8th grade 10-speed Roadmaster was pretty hot (and red) … and I spent a lot of hours riding that bike after school… but I had a feeling I’d be moving up in the world a bit when we started bike shopping for me too.
Here’s the thing… I had been rather wary about buying a bike and riding OUTSIDE. You see, at this stage of my “getting healthier” deal I have about 80 more lbs to lose … (yes – 80)… and simply feel that a person this size just shouldn’t be on a bike… for instance, next time you’re driving through town check out the size of the cyclists in the bike lane. They weigh no more than 125 lbs soaking wet. I would be the laughing stalk of the bike lane… who wants to be “the fat girl on the bike”?!
But we started shopping and I started test-riding… and once again I fell in love w/ cycling.
It was clear that I was meant to be on a bike.
The sound of wind whistling by my face, the fast movement underneath me… the grin that immediately crossed my lips… yeah, I’m once again hooked!
So, after saving up some more dough (in the form of $$$) we found the perfect Trek that works for me as well… it’s a hybrid. It looks like a cross between a road bike and mountain bike. We bought a ‘men’s specific design’ for me (because I didn’t like the feel of the women’s specific design – and I’m glad there aren’t really any rules as to what bike you’re supposed to ride). So far I’m happy with our purchase!!!
We went out for our first bike adventure TOGETHER on Sunday 9/11… we loaded up all of our gear, snacks and water bottles and drove to Oceanside. There is a trail along the San Luis Rey river bed that is just stunningly beautiful! It’s about 9 miles long and you can hop on / off at various places and turn around whenever you want to. The eastern end of the trail is in a residential area, inland Oceanside. The western end of the trail ends within sight of the Pacific Ocean.
The trail itself is a narrow path, one small lane in each direction, at the top of a berm that runs along the river… there are individuals and families and friends running, walking, cycling, skiing (a very odd-looking contraption that resembles a glider machine – envision standing on two planks that move in a circular motion in either direction)… anyway…
We geared up, hopped on the bikes and rode into the sun… and it turned out against a strong head wind. We rode west for about 6 miles… stopped within sight of the Pacific… and turned around.
The ride was about 2 1/2 hours long and I was WIPED out afterwards… between remembering how to shift gears, stopping for water breaks and the uncertainty of how to handle traffic on the path… wow, this is way different from riding a recumbent. But at the same time I handled it better than I thought I would. And yet, I’m so green behind the ears… all at the same time.
Nevertheless, I have a feeling that our journey to be healthier together will change our date nights away from bacon cheeseburgers and fries and ranch dressing and shakes… this was one of the best “dates” I’ve been on in a long time!