Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tales of a Reluctant Biker Chick

It is bicycle season, and I have not ridden my bike much at all. Earlier this spring/summer it was just too windy. I'm talkin' about 30 mph sustained winds. Then it just got too hot. I'm talkin' about 100 + temps by 10 AM until 10 PM. Then the roads were a mess and it was too difficult and dangersous. Okay, maybe I sound like Mama Bear, but I like my bike riding "just right."

You know this bike riding thang does not come easy to me. Papa Bear and Baby Bear love it, but I joined in just to be part of the clan. Through the years the clan has gone through some interesting hobbies, and we have the toys to prove it. The kayaks and catamaran are still used fairly often. The golf clubs have not seen green in a long time. I have no idea where the tennis rackets are and the volleyball net has been loaned out. But this bike thang seems to have stuck. It is not a bad thang, but it is lots of work for me. It would help if I were a much lighter person. You would think that keeping up with Papa and Baby, that I would be a lighter person. But then there is the pasta - a bonus!

With a couple of our usual bike rides coming up, I need to be getting on my bike more and more. There are certain parts of my anatomy that must be in better shape if I am to ride long distances. I'm not talkin' about my "shape," because you should know that my shape is basically round. No, I'm talkin' about that part of my body that never sees the light of day, because I sit on it most of the time, and it is always well covered (there should probably be a law against fat ladies wearing spandex, but no one has complained enough. The oil field workers and ranchers that see me out riding are probably still horrified or laughing their heads off at the sight of me pedaling along). Still, those "sittin' bones" must get tough or the riding will be tough.

We live out in the country where most of our roads are chip-sealed and a bit rough. There are a few smoother pavements, but that means a bit more traffic. This morning I was out before 7 AM and saw lots more traffic than usual. I guess the workers are trying to beat the heat too. Since the county recently re-chip-sealed our roads, pulling over to avoid vehicles is a bit tricky. The gravel is well settled in the middle of the road, but the edges are deep do-do. The corners are fun too.

As the sun came up, I made my usual 7-8 mile loop. I like this little ride - few dogs to worry about. There are not too many big hills. It is not the up-hill that I hate, but at my age the big downhills are down-right scary (and the gravel is no help). To help me train, I kept my gears in low (or high as Papa calls them, which is terribly confusing and had caused some marital difficulties) in order to help get these legs in shape. For those of you who have seen my legs - no laughing. The last little up-hill to our gate nearly wore me out. And wouldn't you know there was a dead critter smashed on the road right at the top where I really needed to blow. Is "blow" the right terminology? It is in horse language (one of our past hobbies of which we still have two horses grazing in the pasture that have not been ridden in years). "Blowing" is when you stop to rest your horse and let him take deep breaths and cool a bit. Oh good, the dead animal was a rabbit. I was worried that it was a skunk and my deep breaths would be hampered.

As I neared our gate, I un-clipped my feet - just in case the ride across the cattle-guard went sour. I usually make it, but I keep my feet free for the ride up the gravel driveway. And yes, the rocks have thrown me off my bike in the past. With the crusher-fine the driveway is not too difficult, but it has gotten a bit like a rub board and will rattle your teeth. Baby Bear usually walks her bike up the driveway, but that is just work. Duh, this whole thang is work.

The Duncan Dehydrator is coming up at the end of the month. We will see if I am ready for it. I will keep you posted on my progress.


Anonymous said...

I've got some new workout videos that I thought I'd try, just got them Sunday. I have yet to try one but I'm really motivated to try one after swim lessons today. I'll keep you posted on MY progress :)


Deb said...

Still, those "sittin' bones" must get tough or the riding will be tough. Ah, I can relate to that one. I'd be in the same predicament if I were to throw a leg over a horse any time soon!

Staci said...

I'm impressed all to pieces that you're doing some biking! And in the inferno heat, too.

Buck said...

Ah, I envy your perseverance, Lou... AND your dedication. Years ago TSMP and I bought pedal bikes (you know why I used two words there) thinkin' they'd get a lot o' use in back-country England on the weekends. Yeah, right. TWO weekends, if memory serves. Neither she nor I had what it took to become serious pedal-pushers but we carried those bikes around with us for the next 18 years or so. They made nice garage ornaments.

Bag Blog said...

We should get together and play some volleyball - more fun than a video or bike riding.

Funny that they call a bicycle seat a saddle.

I may need to get up and out even earlier. I was drenched when I got home and it was not even 8 AM.

I can't picture you as a pedal pusher. But bikes in the garage are not as useful as stationary bikes in the bedroom - you can hang your clothes on the stationary bikes.

Becky said...

You have my sympathy! I've never been much of a bike person. I didn't even have one when I was a kid, except for about a year until my mother sold it for $2 in a garage sale.

John said...

You paint a vivid picture Lou...great little piece of writing. Saw Jesse the other night at the Lodge. She looked great and was fun to talk with. I was ragging her a little about my nephew, but forgot to tell her that he is really involved with his church now...heh-heh. He really is a good guy, but like I told Jesse...seems like her and my nephew are a lot alike. And she don't know me John!!! I almost fell over laughing Lou. My, oh my..wouldn't it be nice to be young again!!!

Bag Blog said...

Becky, it is never too late to start riding a bike.

John, Maybe you should work on your nephew. Put the ball in his court.