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First Ride of the Year

March 16, 2012
by Erin B

Today was the day!  I woke up and got up and it was +5C out already and I honestly couldn’t take it any more!  I was going to ride my bike to Little Girl’s swimming lessons.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready to go.  So I borrowed Claire’s saddle:

And I hooked up the trailer hitch

I couldn’t do anything about the worn pedals, but I dug through my box of spare parts and found a bell.   It isn’t a great bell, but it works and it isn’t legal to bike here without one.

Then I took the bike out and got a picture (still with the chain guard on the the wrong side, but that is how my garage works best.  Unnamed can pose for glamour shots once the rest of the parts arrive.

She is a lovely bicycle, though, isn’t she?  She is older than Claire, but I’m not sure how much older.

I also got a call to go pick up the new saddle and basket.  The saddle with go on Claire, I think.  I can’t use the basket until Unnamed gets a rack.  Little girl and I rushed across town in the car, got the package and quickly got ready for swimming lessons.

Intellectually, I know I haven’t been on a bike in about five months.  I know I’m not is nearly as good a shape as I was in October when I went on my last ride.   Little girl is five pounds heavier.  The last bike I took with the trailer had more gears and a more aggressive posture.  I have lost my butt …. calluses? whatever makes it hurt less about a week into biking.  This was going to be hard.  I knew that.  However, I was surprised a  how hard.

For the first block (it is SO embarrassing to admit this)  I had a wobble and a hard time keeping the bike going straight.  It isn’t the bike, I had forgotten how to balance as well as I can.

My head says stuff like, “Now that the bike is out, I should just bike to the bank and then to the LBS and get some seat guts so I can put the new saddle on Claire.”  My ass says “Are you crazy?  That is FAR!”

The hills up and down by the overpass were HARD.  Up was hard!  Down was hard to stop.  I felt a little silly building a bike with three brakes but I used them all going down the hill to the lights at the bottom.

I know this is just the beginning.  I know it will get easier.  I also think it is important to me to remember that it is always hard to get going at the beginning of the year.  And you as a reader (and possibly non-cyclist) need to know that if you don’t bike much, yes, it is hard to get going.  But only for a little while and you get stronger very quickly.

Just watch, the new few days or week or two I will while about being tired and weak.  I will complain that my butt is sore.  It is a little, even with a broken in saddle.   A month or so later, I’ll be back biking across town with a full load groceries and a kid in tow.

The myth that you just get on your bike and go is a myth.  It is absolutely hard to get going when you have been out of the saddle for a while.  I will get better; you will get better.  It is SO worth it!

(trip total:4km)

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