Lessons in Biking: After All These Years, I’m Still Learning!

Breigh April 12, 2012 7

I have a new bike! WAHOO!

Remember Sheldon the Wonder Fiets?  Well, I sold him in the fall.  He served me well during the time I was using him but I just was not at all happy with him overall.  I felt like I was riding around on a coke can that was about to crumble beneath me.  Maybe it was because it was actually a rather cheap young girls bike, maybe it was because I was over 250 lbs at the time.  Who knows.  Either way I just wasn’t comfortable. I hate the way it rattled, clanged and felt rickety and weak, I didn’t like that I couldn’t put the handlebars any higher or pull them closer to me so I could sit up straighter.  There was a lot I didn’t like.

So I decided in the fall that I would sell Sheldon and look for a new bike in the spring.

Well, it’s spring! Not that you’d know by the current weather…

I had been looking on Marktplaats for a few weeks and visited a few of the second hand shops here in town, but nothing struck my fancy. I knew exactly what I was looking for.  Something that is a good, well known brand, had a nice saddle, fully adjustable handlebars and affordable.  I also looked online at a few shops, one of which was a bike shop near Kinderdijk where we bought a 2nd hand bike for Xander a few years ago.   When I saw the ad I just had a gut feeling.  I continued to look on Marktplaats but time and time again I kept going back to that one ad and showing it to Xander.

Last Saturday morning I asked him to take me out there to look at it because I was scared it would be gone before I would get a chance to look at it.  A few hours later I was home with my new bike!

New Bike

I’ve named her Sally and she’s a Giant Explorer 21 speed slice of awesomeness on wheels!  It’s exactly what I was looking for and I am so happy with it.  When I rode it for the first time it really brought to light just what a crappy ride my old bike was, the difference is incredible.  It’s 2nd hand but in great shape, we really got a great deal for what we paid for it.

We stopped on the way home and picked up some bags for on the back of the bike to make it easier when I take it for groceries or need to transport small items. I realized after seeing this photo that I seem to have a new favorite color for spring 2012, as I bought the same color in both my new walking shoes and the bicycle bags.

I’ve been quite busy and the weather has been sort of rotten lately so I haven’t gotten a chance to get out on it until today, and I learned a few quick lessons.

  • When taking the bike to buy groceries, don’t buy 4-5 days worth of food at a time and forget you have to get it home on a bike!  It’s probably not a good idea to buy a giant bulk sized bottle of laundry detergent along with all those groceries either.
  • You can fit a lot more than you think on / in a bike!
  • Once the bike is packed, be careful because you and the bike WILL fall over if you don’t counter balance to make up for the added weight.
  • When taking the bike down the flight of stairs to the storage room, lift it higher!  When the back tire hits the stairs behind you it can very nearly send you both tumbling down the stairs.
  • Remember how I said to buy less groceries at a time, like maybe 1-2 days worth rather than 4-5 and the honkin’ big laundry detergent?  You’ll also realize this when standing at the bottom of three flights of stairs with no husband to help you carry them up!

Other than that, the only thing I learned is that this is a great bike and I love having one again!  I also feel much more comfortable riding it at almost 50 lbs less than when I was last on one.  My one and only mission for this summer in regards to the bike is to reach a fitness and comfort level to use the bike to go into town.  Don’t rush me though, if you are a ‘meet me in town’ friend, I will get there in my own time.

7 Comments »

  1. Renee @pinkypie April 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I’ve already told you I’m sure, but i think your new bike is awesome!! I can’t wait to go bike riding with you one day (and that means I don’t care how long it takes for you to be ready to ride with me, we WILL ride one day! I’m no Leontien van Moorsel!!)

    and yeah, I still end up with too much stuff packed into my bike bags… I still can’t seem to remember there is a capacity limit on the bike!!

  2. Ash April 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Awesome! I got a nice bike last summer and my goal is to use it to ride with the kids to school. Love the panniers :)

  3. mmichele April 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I love me a good Dutch fiets. Have fun riding Sally!

  4. calliope April 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Mooi fiets!
    I like having my bike too and it definitely is morecomfortable to ride when you weigh less. And you’ll have to put air in the tires less frequently too.
    You look fantastic by the way!

  5. Invader_Stu April 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    I like the way your new shoes match the saddle bags of your new bike :)

  6. Monica April 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Looking fantastic!

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