Learning how to ride a bike (again)

Here we are again, I remember the weeks when I blogged every week, posted a lot on social and was all over the place. That is certainly not true now, I am focused, grounded, focused on being healthy, enjoying more daily & doing the right things for my family. Okay.. so what is up w/ the bike ? and why again..

Let’s dive in. A few months (like 3-4) back I picked up a bicycle as I had felt great walking a few miles a day and the Peloton felt great, but I needed to get outside as well, thus the balance of on the road vs. in the house. I went to the local bike shop, found a used bike, my thought process was to get a used bike to see if I enjoyed it enough to go a little bigger (aka expensive) and got out on the road or should i say the side walk. I started with a small 1/4 mile lap and then continued my quest to do a little bit more. It took a few months to build up the endurance, strength, mind power to really feel if I liked it . .. and.. I not just like it but I enjoy/crave it.

However, with everything there are challenges and I have had a few of them. Let me discuss the key challenges and what I learned to imply why I’m saying learning how to ride a bike (again)..

  1. Sidewalks are great if you are with your kids riding and going at a slow pace, but as soon as you either (a) go fast (b) you are alone (c) can handle the road.. then you need to get on the road. I have learned through positive encouragement (actually it was negative.. but LOL) that the side walk is for walking and after a few folks jumped out of their skin & flipped out I have graduated to the road unless I have a youngster with me. I am enjoying riding on the road and it is faster than the sidewalk.
  2. Gear matters! After a few +10 mile rides I lost feeling in a few parts of my lower body (use your imagination), and I don’t think that is a good thing.. After talking with a few folks on the book of face and talking with my work colleague I upgraded to riding shorts. Shorts are a huge improvement, it’s good to have feeling and be able to handle longer rides. Now let’s talk about the shirt, I have not received my riding shirt yet, it is on it’s way to me and I can’t wait to use. Next, extra tube, repair kit, bicycle pump.. sounds like good stuff to have right? (I’ll come back to this).. two water bottle holders (necessary) and the bike lights were just put on this week and fun improvement for dusk riding. Oh and how could I forget.. for the first 2 months I was wearing a skateboard helmet and I would over heat at certain points and was not sure why. Well on a trip to Tahoe I picked up a bicycle helmet and what an improvement, air flow, no over heating and just more comfortable overall. Net Net: Gear Matters.. (Thank You Braley).
  3. Changing a bike tire, seems like a good skill to have and I’m glad I was taught as a kid how to do that. Today I went out on a road ride, it was awesome until I hit mile 5 and a 3/4 inch screw went into my rear tire and it was sporty to say the least. I got off the side of the road and went up on a side walk in the shade and pulled out all tools/tube and gear that I just put on my bike 3 days ago (no kidding 3 days ago). I had a new tube and since I had not changed the tube on this bike I decided to use my new tube, I did the repair and two different folks stopped and asked if I needed help. I think that was very kind of folks to stop and ask if I was okay. I changed the tire & got back on the road and realized I didn’t give enough PSI in the tire so inflate more and then get back out there.. I know am going to buy two more tubes and keep both on the bike just in case..
  4. water is fundamental. This week I installed my second water bottle holder and I am very happy I did. Any ride over a few miles requires two bottles just in case, today I only packed a large bottle & I had to ration at the end of the ride, two water bottles are now mandatory.
  5. Food/fuel for the body.. Eat before you ride.. eat healthy & then eat when you get back.. that is all.

After all these learning’s I am excited for my next milestone, to hit 20 miles on the bike. This week I hit 50+ miles in the week overall and today was 15 miles, so it’s just a matter of finding the right bike trail and getting all my bike essentials ready.

Not sure if I’ll change hillyreport to capture bike riding as well, but who knows… I miss the ocean, miss the beach and miss paddling out with a killer swell.. but for now, let’s bike, SUP and get even stronger!

God bless.


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