So, I bought a cheap, crappy used bike off a resale group I recently joined. A wonderful friend of mine helped me obtain it because I don’t have a truck and it wouldn’t fit in my car, and I couldn’t get the front wheel off. It’s really nothing fancy but I am only looking for something to run quick errands with, like if I want to run up to the drugstore in the evening but don’t want to walk, as it’s 3 miles round trip, and don’t feel like taking my car. This way I can get a little bit of exercise and still get something done. I’m also really close to the metroparks and thought it would be nice to be able to take the bike over there and do some easy riding while the evenings are still warm enough to do so.
As part of my continued attempts to rehabilitate my knee tendon problems, I also thought this would be a good way to cross train. I added strength training back to my workouts a few months ago, and this would be another way for me to get some cardio and use different muscles than I use for walking or running. I like swimming, but it’s a huge pain in the ass to try to get somewhere to swim. My gym is a 20-minute drive from home and gross old men sit in chairs beside the pool and stare at people who are lap swimming, so it’s not really conducive to me wanting to do much swimming. I bought a new suit a few years ago and thought I would try swimming to combat this knee thing when it was brand new. When I paused after a few laps, as I was really out of shape, an old man came over to the edge of the pool and leaned over to me and said, “You swim just like a fish.” Fuck you, asshole, I thought. This is just not what I want to hear when I’m trying to exercise. I suppose he thought he was being nice but you know, I don’t want to be BOTHERED, I’m just trying to exercise, not win a glamour contest. I got out of the pool and left.
Anyway, so I got this bike. I had to go buy a helmet and a lock, which, together, cost more than I spent on the bike, but hopefully it will be an investment and that maybe later if my knees cooperate I can get a better bike and the investment will be worth it. Besides, I can’t exactly just leave the bike outside the drug store laying on the sidewalk, that’s just an invitation to take it. And while it isn’t worth much, it would piss me off it someone took it. I had to mess with a bunch of different locks because the dials aren’t exactly made with people who have arthritis in mind, so I bought a bigger, more secure one than I intended to buy just because the dial was bigger and easier to manipulate. Getting a helmet is a bit of a challenge. I have a REALLY small head. I can’t wear hats that you buy from most stores because they are way too big for my head. I got a helmet that had a band in it where you could adjust how tight it is, so that worked, but the chin strap *just barely* works. All the straps are pulled as tight as they can get and I think it’s just tight enough. I think. I also managed to take it to the gas station and fill up the tires, which were really low, and I took an easy and slow 6-mile ride just to make sure I could still operate one and not fall off every five minutes.
Sunglasses are necessary, yeah. Got a bad bug in my eye and am not very good at riding one-handed to fish it out. Hand signals are almost impossible as I’m just not steady enough on it yet to have a hand off the handlebars like that. And pushing off from a stop really, really kills where I have the knee problem, so there’s a lot of work to be done. But I did it, and I didn’t fall off. Now if I could get a rack for it so I could bring it to work, I could actually ride into downtown when I want to go out for lunch, instead of always going to the same places around where I work now, which is on the eastern edge of downtown. I have tried to go downtown like 5 times now and can never find a meter unless I spend a good 20 minutes of my lunch hour searching for one. But racks are way, way pricy, so I will try to keep an eye out for a used one.
Anyway so I did it, and boy is my ass sore today. But now my son seems more motivated to try to ride his own little bike, when I suggested that if he had his bike we could ride together down in the park. So there’s that.