As easy as riding a bike (or so they say)

I’ve never been one to veer away from challenges, particularly when it comes to sports. Since I was a little girl of 6, I have been involved in one sport or another every year of my life. I’ve recently decided that I want to try a duathlon or perhaps even a triathlon sometime in the near future. And since I’m dating a guy who loves to bike – and bike aggressively – I decided to invest in a pretty sweet ride to get myself up to speed.

A few weeks ago I bought this baby:

And it’s been a little bit of a love-hate relationship since. Whatever genius made up the saying, “As easy as riding a bike” never climbed onto a racing bike, locked in shoes to teeny round pedals, bent over in a crouched, hunchback position, and proceeded to try and knock out 10 miles without crashing and burning. It’s this whole foot-locked-in-can’t-move-thing that has me a bit nervous. It triggers my claustrophic response so fast because it takes a minute to twist your foot out of it. Let me just relay to you the many scenarios I’ve faced of coming to a stop sign, instinctively braking and trying to put my foot down, and then falling completely over because my feet are locked into miniscule deathtraps.

Don’t let their lollipop shape fool you. They look so cute and friendly but to a novice road bike rider like myself, they scream “Fear me!” I’m getting used to them…slowly. But I’ve learned how to fall, too. Keep my elbows tucked in, try to take it on the shoulder, unlock your shoes, get up, climb back on and keep pedaling.

Truthfully, I really do love this bike. The speed I get out of it does help compensate for the lost skin and various bumps and bruises I am acquiring as I acclimate myself to my new toy. Plus, I’m fully accessorized and matching. The Guy just rolled his eyes when I told him that my helmet, my shoes, the pedals, the bike bag, the water bottle, and my new sunglasses all had a common color to match the detail design on the bike: pink.

The Guy: You are such a girlie girl, you know that?

You betcha. But this is one girlie girl who’s not afraid to get a little dirty or scraped up, too. Bring on the asphalt. Let me lick it’s rocky surface. Just hopefully not too many more times.

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4 comments

  1. Hillary Coombs · July 3, 2008

    Angie I just found your blog! How fun to see what is going on in your life! And see your sweet boy! That is a pretty sweet ride! I am impressed! I hope you are doing well!

  2. amanda · July 3, 2008

    Angie, you know what this means, don’t you? I’ve been dying to buy a road bike and start riding, but I’m a bit inhibited right now by price and lack of knowledge. So, now I know where to get my knowledge! Hopefully you’ll be willing to pass along what you learned in your research, right? And those pedals freak me out, too. My friend told me when she first started she fell all over town, too.

  3. angelbrew · July 5, 2008

    Well, I am becoming an expert on all things road bike related…thanks to the sharp learning curve(s). All I can say, Amanda, is just be prepared to be scared – in a good, exciting, thrilling way and in a “oh-my-gosh-what-bodily-harm-awaits-me” way.
    The bike I have is FANTASTIC, though. I would recommend it to anyone as it is a perfect ride for just getting into road biking. Of course, five years down the road when I’m competing in the Tour de France, I’m sure I’ll upgrade a little more.

  4. Dave D · July 7, 2008

    Angie, I never took you for a biker. I worked at a bike shop in high school and have built and fixed countless bikes. When you move to Oregon to work for Intel you will have to get a mountain bike and I will take you to Mt Hood Ski Bowl in the summer and take you down ski trails with clipless pedals and THEN you can worry about what bodily harm awaits. Good luck, there definately is a learning curve.

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