One of the things from my 101 List that I’ve been most keen to do is start riding my bike again. I’ve not ridden my bike in the last number of years because I never found it comfortable. To put it bluntly, I’ve been too fat and self-conscious.
We bought it about 5 years ago because I wanted to join the ranks of the Dutchies and start making the bike my main mode of transportation around the neighbourhood for my daily errands. I also wanted to go on bike rides with my husband because it’s something he really enjoys. He used to cycle 40kms a day on his mountain bike and he really would have loved for us to ride together. We started going for bike rides and I did enjoy it somewhat, but I found it very hard. I got tired quickly, it was the dead of summer and I quickly grew frustrated with my lack of endurance.
I still feel like that a little, which is why there is no photo of me actually on the bike yet. Maybe by the end of the summer I’ll feel confident enough to share that.
Anyhow, today we finally dug the bike out of the storage room! The tires were flatter than a pancake, it was covered in dust, my saddlebags were ass-ways and crooked from being shoved in amongst all our junk, and it was looking pitiful and unloved.
My husband raised the handlebars for me, fixed the seat, pumped the tires and made a number of adjustments to make it a better fit than it was was before. I rode about 20 circles in our parking lot to make sure it was just right and then we went back in the house for breakfast.
It looked like it was going to rain but I hoped it would hold off as I wanted to ride the bike to my physio appointment at 1pm. It wasn’t far but it would make a good ‘maiden voyage’. Close enough for me to walk the bike home if something was wrong but far enough for me to feel like I was getting a little ride in.
My ass still hurt after I was on it for a few minutes.
My legs still burned a bit to let me know I’m still out of shape and need to continue with the weight loss.
My arms wobbled, leaving me in fear of swerving into a parked car or tipping over when I was trying to turn.
I came frighteningly close to falling over each time I stuck my arm out to signal where I was going.
My heart pounded as I maneuvered intersections and hoped to god I wasn’t going the wrong way at the wrong time.
I made it…there and back… alive!
What’s even better? I enjoyed it! I know that list would make it sound like it was dreadful, but it wasn’t. I loved being able to get somewhere that quick ON MY OWN. Not relying on anyone to drive me, not having to follow the schedule of public transit or take the time to walk. I felt free and it was awesome.
I also loved taking off my little basket and going in the grocery store. I know it sounds silly but I enjoyed it. Call me crazy!
It’s not a fancy bike, it’s not an incredibly strong bike, and it’s definitely not an expensive bike… but it’s mine. It manages to carry me and my remaining blubber around and for that I’m grateful. Grateful enough to name it Sheldon the Wonder Fiets, after my favorite puny, quirky and hilarious TV character Sheldon from my beloved show, The Big Bang Theory.
Oh, and for the non-Dutchies, Fiets is Dutch for bike.
So my plan is to start riding for short periods now while it’s still cool, hopefully build up some endurance and lose more weight so that when the summer comes I can bike for enjoyment and go along with my husband on longer rides just for the fun of it. Ya know, without feeling like I’m about to die.
I’ll keep ya’s posted!