Maine Lighthouse Ride
As we get near the end of this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I thought I would throw out a few random thoughts on Bikes, Cycling, and nonsense……you can never have enough nonsense!
My First Bike– 21 Speed Schwinn Hybrid- I was 36 years old. My brother showed me a bike he just bought and I went and bought the EXACT same bike a few days later. By the way, don’t come into work one morning and excitedly tell a guy in earnest who has 3 motorcycles that you just bought a new bike; meaning a bicycle. They get mad!
How many bikes do I have?– Two. A road bike and my Mountain/City Bike. At one time I had 3 bikes. Not bragging, almost feeling foolish because two weeks after I bought my very first bike, I told a friend who had 3 bikes that it was utterly ridiculous that anyone should own more than one bike. “What’s the point?” Then I was seduced by the “bicycle dark side!” Actually, I do have a 3rd bike again. It was given to me by Cardis Furniture for buying a new bedroom set. It’s still in the box and has to be assembled. I might wait a little longer.
Coolest Missed Feature On A Bike- Most of us cyclists know that it’s hard to live without our small handlebar bike computers. Yes, we all want to know about speed, but living without our mileage feature is seriously disturbing. When our mileage (as soulless as it may be sometimes) calculator doesn’t work, it’s an unsettling blow to the psyche. There is another feature I miss. I had a bike with a Shimano 8 speed internal hub. The best feature was the ability to downshift (or even upshift) at a standstill. This feature was especially helpful if you had to come to an abrupt halt on an uphill climb or just forgot to downshift coming up to an intersection or traffic light stop. The ability to downshift on the spot could save you from having to walk your bike or blow out your knees to get going again. It seemed especially helpful on city rides or large group rides where the “flow of the herd” may be dictated by others—–” Benji !!!!!!”
Form Follows Function! – Initially, when most of us first viewed cyclists on a bike, we thought they dressed ridiculously (maybe we still do). What we found out soon, was how functional clothing choices are. Bike shirts- Cool air flows through more efficiently and has pockets in the back to carry spare tubes, food, phone, or even a map. Bike shorts (“and the woman who love the men who wear them”……..whoops, a title and subject for another time.) Bike shorts have padding in the seat for comfort; for all rides short and long. Some also have compression in the thighs to increase blood flow.
Speaking of NOT Functional- I’m not sure there is any hobby or amateur sport that has more advertising or brand recognition paid for, displayed and paraded around by, than cycling. (Please send all paid endorsements to Zulu Delta……..ah, never mind).
Mileage Milestones- 8 Miles. First time ever. Around the neighborhood on my new hybrid. I was so excited. 30 Miles. Boston Hub on Wheels. I knew nothing about training on a bike and had all I could handle on the big hills. 8 thousand people at the start. What a blast. 50 Miles. Boston Hub On Wheels. I never thought this was possible. I felt like a “real” cyclist. 108 Miles- My first Century with the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. I took a wrong turn out in the woods, got lost, crashed on the railroad tracks, got a flat tire, and one mile before the finish, I was almost crushed by 4 Deer flying out of the woods, and over the top of one of my “precious rock walls” right in front of me. After that, mentally, I felt I could do any bike ride. This is important.
So…….any questions you would like answered……….about biking anyway?
Maybe I’ll continue this on another blog?