My impressions have been high jacked this month. About 3 weeks ago, when the kids and I got back from our trip to New York, I came home to the sad realization that my precious bike, my darling, had a flat back tire. Okay, not a big deal right? I buy a tire pump and fill it up. Only 3 hours later the tire is flat again. Ughh, okay, still no big deal.
I decide, of course, to fix it myself. After all, when we were kids, we never called the adults out to help us fix our bikes. We ran inside and grabbed the key to the shed, got out the patch kit and a bowl of water, and sealed the leak. Bike chains were an even lighter affair. Pop the chain off when needed; pop the chain on when needed. No big deal. I go to the store and buy myself a bicycle tire repair kit. By this time, it’s been over a week since our return from New York.
But now I’m looking at my bike and he’s looking back at me. He’s ready to get back on the road, and so am I. I flip him upside down and check out the situation. I have no clue what the hell I’m looking at. I watch some YouTube videos, not to relearn how to fix the flat but to figure out how to remove the damn tire in the first place. I like to tell myself that rear tires are notoriously difficult. Either way, the videos don’t help. There’s a tool that I need that I don’t have. I could go in search of it, but it’s just so hot all of the time and my air-conditioner is going on it’s annual summertime strike. I don’t want to drive anywhere unless necessary. More days pass.
I finally figure I’ll go to my new bike shop (it didn’t seem so far away when the a/c in my car was working) and let Matt take this first one, you know teach me face-to-face for the next time. Turns out my bike needs two new tires. Apparently my tires are too vintage to continue on.
I feel bummed that I’ll have to lose the, what I’m assuming, are original tires. Also, I’m missing my bike rides. I never expected to feel these emotions when I got this bike.
At the bike store, I learn that my bike’s tires are not common and that they’ll need to be special ordered. It’ll be in the shop for 2 more days. I wave my baby goodbye.
Two days pass and no word from the shop. On day 3, I discover that the tire size isn’t a perfect fit and a reorder of new wheels is in order. They are now due to arrive on Tuesday, July 4th. Oh, wait, they’ll be closed on that day. It’s Independence Day and my bicycle, the invention that freed the world, is locked up in a bicycle shop.
In the interval, my daughter, Annie, learns to ride on her own! She’s dying to finally go for a ride with me. I’ve got no bike. That same day, Austin and I go digging behind my parent’s shed and find a perfectly decent bike which he happily claims. We pump it full of air and he goes riding off into the sunset with his sister. I’m standing on the sidewalk with nothing.
The next day, I borrow Austin’s bike and me and daughter go on a short bike ride together. We cruise at about 3 mph and stay close to home. It’s so perfect, and I’m so happy and proud of her.
So finally, Dear Readers, I got my bike back yesterday afternoon. It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve ridden it and, quite frankly, it feels nerve-wracking to get back out there. Going 5 mph with my daughter down our street doesn’t count.
I’m now re-engaging muscles that were all pumped a month ago but have already gotten lazy. I’m checking 5 times for cars because my senses feel dulled. I’m sticking closer to home because my muscles can’t push as far as before, not just yet.
This blows, but at least I have my bike and I can get back to this hobby that has changed my views and my body. My first ride last night was great. I did 30 minutes. I passed by homes that I haven’t seen in weeks. There was something comforting about everything being right where I left it. I even saw the same cat dart out from under the same car.
You’ll recall that me and my thighs have been locked in an epic battle. With the absence of my bike these few weeks, I have to admit that I lost the last campaign. But as of last night, I’m reengaged and ready to conquer. It’s just going to take me a little time to physically and mentally get back on track.
So my impressions are a bit different this time. I’ll keep it short.
- It’s incredible how quickly my body can revert to laziness. I used to spend 1 1/2 to 2 hours at the gym 4-5 days a week. That dropped to an hour of bike riding a day. That dropped to nothing but a good amount of stretching (which I’m telling myself counts for something). My body doesn’t know what the hell is going on. I think it’s storing extra calories just in case because I’m giving it no consistency with which to base decisions.
- My left knee is doing this weird thing where it kind of hurts sometimes. This is the old age kicking in, I’m sure of it. I demanded that my knee stop acting like a little bitch and grow up, but I suspect that growing up is the problem. He’s sick of my youthful athleticism.
- My new tires make my ride feel more sporty. The tires actually have tread now so when it’s raining I don’t have to be afraid that my brakes will be useless.
- One of my neighbors asked where I’ve been. It’s sort of cool feeling like the community mascot. It also means that I have a duty to ride. The people demand it.
- My goal is to take this baby to the beach soon and you’d better believe you’re coming along with me.
For all of my new readers, welcome! Would you like to have an idea of how this post usually goes? That’s what I thought! Here you go 🙂 Thanks for coming along for the ride.