I decided I need a bike.
I haven't been on a bike in at least ten years — maybe more like fifteen. But I've been looking for something productive to do on days I'm not running and a bike seemed like the logical choice.
Lucky for me, I know people. Bike people.
My friend Ross works for Trek Bikes. She technically lives in Atlanta now, but she travels up and down the east coast putting on demos and events for women like me who are interested in cycling and don't really know where to start. Obviously, she was the perfect person to call with a bike inquiry. (We've been friends for ten years and she's never successfully gotten me on a bike – before now. She made me swim laps with her once when we were in college. That didn't take either.)
Look, she's all fancy pants. Click here. See? And, seriously, how many people get personal bike delivery and private lessons from the Trek mobile?
In hindsight, it probably wasn't smart to spend my "rest" day biking 17 miles all over Northwest Arkansas, but whatever. I took Monday off work and spent the entire day catching up with an old friend and meeting a new one —
She doesn't have a name yet (any suggestions?), but we got pretty well acquainted during our journey from Springdale to Dickson Street for a lunch break at Common Grounds. Let me break that down for you out-of-towners. (I'm map-challenged so I'll spare you the freehand version.)
Thats 8.5 miles – by bike. I tried and tried to figure out how to find the elevation changes on that route, but you'll just have to trust me that there are PLENTY of hills around these parts. Nothing like some nice rolling hills to teach a girl how to use her gears.
Fayetteville has a pretty extensive trail system so we were on a bike path for most of the ride – thank goodness. The stretches we rode on the road were nerve-wracking. And though I technically didn't fall down the entire day, there were a handful of close calls — including one that required me to literally push off the wall of an underground tunnel to keep from crashing and another that meant a fairly painful disagreement between my left ankle and my left pedal.
As with anything new, it will take some time before I'm confident and comfortable, but I'm excited about my new toy. It's funny, cycling appears to be the complete opposite of running with respect to simplicity of gear and accessories. Ha! Who would have thought I'd ever be budgeting for race entry fees and bike accessories?
Thanks Ross for a fun day and a patient attitude. I hope I wasn't too high maintenance for a new rider. My sunburn is feeling better and my butt doesn't hurt (as much) anymore so I'm almost ready for Ride #2!