A Senior Citizen Returns to Bicycling

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I woke up early feeling great and noticed a soft mauve and pinkish hue displayed in the clouds. I t would only be a few minutes before the light changed, so I grabbed my iPhone and headed out to the lakeshore to snap a few shots.

It’s Wednesday! This is my early day!

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EASTING! in that Golden Hour light. Good morning sunshine!

Last week I decided I needed to start moving my body. I am not big on going to a gym nor using exercise equipment at home. There are a few types of movements I enjoy, and walking and cycling are among them. So I set out to buy a bicycle. My frazzled nerves could not believe the prices. Wait, what happened here? When did bicycles become so expensive? $600 to over $1000 for a new bike! Ouch.

I took an alternate route to obtain a bike, I researched used ones. Ahhhh more like it. I set a $100 dollar budget and went searching. This is where I discovered FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE. A day later I found my bike and located a car rack for it and came in under my $100 budget for both. Yay!

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I got it home and rode down the block and I thought, no problem. It was Sunday and getting into the evening, and it was rainy so that was that.

Today it’s Wednesday though and I’m home early enough to take my bike on its first ride. I am not going to lie to you. I have never been more happy to live in such a remote location as I do. There was no one around to witness my first novice ride as a senior citizen.IMG_9210-9

As I rode my bike down the first block, I thought, whoa! This is a lot harder than I remember. My new, to me, 7-speed Schwinn bike is a cutey.  It’s black frame, and one turquoise tire made me fall in love with it. It’s banana bike-style handlebars closed the deal for me. I thought to myself, this will be a breeze. Everyone knows that old saying “it’s like riding a bike, as soon as you get on it all comes back”. That is true. It comes back, just not as pulled together as when you were twenty. Sure you get on and you regain your balance alright, but not without a wobble. Okay, several wobbles!

But I grabbed those banana-bike handlebars, and put that baby in 3rd-gear (the lower the gear the easier to pedal, but the slower the speed) and took off down the road. About halfway to the first corner, I felt my heart beating hard and my chest felt tight. Oh oh?, Then my legs started burning and I said “oh shit” I can’t let my neighbors see me. So I put the bike into 1st-gear and pedaled on to the next block, where fewer people know me. When I was in safe distance from familiar eyes, I pulled over to get a drink of water. Oh my god! I was already sweating. Holy Crap I am so out of shape! But I proceeded one block to the trail.

Once on the trail, the ride was smoother and I almost made it all the way to the overpass which is less than a quarter mile. I will double check the distance on my way to work tomorrow. Two other cyclers passed me on the trail. The first one came up behind me as I was wobbling all over the trail trying to keep my ride under control. He made noise, thank god, so I pulled to one side and let him pass. I am sure he didn’t want me to lose control and crash into him. He was damn nice not to laugh out loud at me. He politely said howdy ma’am and I gallantly said hi there and cycled on as if I owned that trail.

I began to slow down and pull on to the shoulder so I could get a drink of water before heading in the other direction. As I came to a stop and was getting off the bike I did not control my hand brakes well and I lost my balance as I scooted off the seat to stop the bike with my feet. I took my first tumble. My head went down, my body rolled to the right and I hit my knee. Thankfully I was on grass and no injury resulted. I quickly jumped up and looked to see who might have seen me. Whee! no one around. My dignity remained intact.

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The trail behind me. Not a bad ride.

I drank my water, snapped a picture of the portion of the trail I had just completed. Then I got back on the bike and headed in the other direction. On the south side of the trail, there are no trees, just a lot of pasture land.

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Mesmerizing, no one around, perfect weather, good bike. Good first ride!

On the north side of the access pass gate, the trail is tree-lined on both sides.

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Wheeee! Harder than I remember!

I was surprised that as I headed north the ride was easier. I stopped at the first bench for more water and more pictures and decided it was time to head back. There were some ominous clouds closing in. To my surprise, I made it all the way home with no more stops! Go Mo! Go Mo! I can’t wait to do it again.

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