The Bike……..Chapter One
So after not riding for over twenty years I bought a bike three weeks ago. They have a name for the category but I guess you would call it a hybrid bike. It’s a Giant Escape. I am not ready for a road bike and probably won’t ever be. My goal is to ride at a reasonable rate of speed and finish in a reasonable time (for me) in my triathlons. This bike is a major step up from the heavy borrowed mountain bike that I rode a few times this past fall. Anyway I am still learning how to ride the dang thing. I had no idea how to use the gears. Little by little I’m getting the hang of it. But here are a few things that I didn’t expect.
It’s still been cool in the morning and my hands have been freezing. I didn’t expect that. My right hand actually got so cold and numb that I couldn’t feel my fingers or change my gears without trouble. Part of the problem is that I have a death grip on the handle bars. This is related to the fear that I still feel when riding. I bought some riding gloves but haven’t been on my bike due to my ongoing knee treatments.
The second thing I didn’t expect was how excruciatingly uncomfortable a bike seat could be. It was so uncomfortable I had to stop riding. I bought a new seat but again I haven’t had a chance to ride with it.
Issue number three is that my feet keep slipping off of the pedals. I discussed this with the folks at Hilltop Bicycles where I bought my bike but they could only suggest cages or clip pedals. Both scare the life out of me but I may have to reconsider if my feet keep slipping.
So if biking isn’t your thing but you need to ride I suggest that you buy your bike from folks in the know. New or used a bike shop is a good place to go. Get the best bike that you can afford. Be ready to maintain it properly and take good care of it. Although I haven’t been able to ride with them I belong to a group of female riders HbWomen who ride out of the Hilltop Bikes in Summit and Cranford. They are supportive and helpful and know a lot about riding. If you are unsure, look for a group that can support you. Lastly, just go for it. I am still nursing a bit of fear but it gets easier every ride. More bike stuff later.