Thoughts, ramblings, experiences and joys of an Alaska girl. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is firmly rooted in the Great Land of Alaska.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bicycle or Torture Device?

Alex and I took the kids to the Bicycle Shop about a week and a half ago to pick out a new bike for me, and one for Kaylee. I got to ride a few around in the lot. The ride around the lot was the longest bike ride I've taken since I was about 12! The ride was not a long enough ride to feel what sitting on the seat would feel like after an hour long ride, but long enough for me to realize I know nothing about bikes, gears, shifting, tires, types or accessories. Alex wasn't about to let me get a Walmart special though. I left nearly $1400 dollars lighter for both bikes.

I had the idea that I could ride from Eagle River to Anchorage on the weekdays to get to work, then ride home after. It's about a 30-35 mile round trip ride. The trail is nice, it goes along the Glen. There wouldn't be a lot of road riding, if I added a few miles to my trip by taking the trails. Then, I rode my new bike. All my dreams disappeared in a wave of pain that started in my calves, rose to my hiney, and ended in my chest (as I gasped for air). I hadn't ridden a bike for over a year, and the last time I did it was on the elevationless, flat paths of Virginia Beach. WHAT was I thinking? It was equivalent to buying a 16 ounce steak at a restaurant, complete with salad, soup, veges, bread and a baked potato because you are hungry and really think you can eat it. My eyes and aspirations FAR outweigh my ability and my endurance.

I've yet to figure out the gears, and every time we begin to ascend a hill on the paths in our neighborhood I feel a sense of dread as the bike begins to wobble and I have to jump off quickly to avoid falling to the ground. We took the kids and bikes to the trails in Anchorage last weekend. I did the same acrobatic act every time I started up a hill on the trails there too. I felt pathetic! Alex and Kaylee biked all the way from West Chester Lagoon to Eagle River. Nicholas and I headed home (no way were WE going to bike that far) and consoled ourselves and our lack of endurance with Cold Stone ice cream.

I am eventually going to ride to work though. I probably won't make it home on the bike, and I'll end up taking the friendly public transportation (bus) service home, but I will eventually get the endurance to make the round trip. We will probably ride the path on Saturday and see if I can make it. I know it sure will be a beautiful ride in. Maybe that will be the balm that eases the pain in my tooshy from sitting on that hard bike seat. I really think that ancient dungeon masters created those bike seats. For something that cost me so much, it should feel like riding on a cloud.

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