Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why I like to ride

I was thinking about this recently--why do I like to ride my bike?  I mean, it gets HOT here in Texas, and it seems the wind never stops blowing at least 15mph, which for me, means I always have a headwind on the homeward leg of any ride.

Well, partly I am enjoying the health benefits I have gotten from riding this past year.  I am down to 157#, from a doctor-recorded high of 219 back in April of 2010.  Yeah, I was fat!  I sleep better now, I have some endurance.  I can walk up hills without feeling like I am gonna die!

It also brings back memories of my childhood.  Riding my bike everywhere I wanted to go, back before I had a car.  Of doing fundraiser rides of a then-whopping 25 miles!  I remember how impressed I was, that I could actually ride that far!

As a single 30-something, I started riding again, and took a part time job at the local cool-guy bike shop, so I could pay for the parts I wanted to use to build up my old Masi.  That was a truly fun and enjoyable time of my life.    I did RAGBRAI, and CANDISC 2x.  It was also when and where I met my husband.

Yeah, we met in a now-gone bike shop, and our first informal 'date' was a bike ride to Baldwin KS.  Our first real date was to the pistol range, followed by overly hot Thai curry with friends at my place.  At least he saw past my curry disaster!

We didn't do a lot of riding after moving into rural KS though, much to our dismay.  We churned through a couple different tandems, which we did ride well together, but just were too busy working and getting settled to ride like we both loved.

Then came the forced move to Texas via his job.  He was diagnosed a diabetic and started riding to try to control it.  I had two babies, and a 3rd on the way, but tried getting some rides in, while pregnant.  I did, but it wasn't as much fun.  After #3 was born, we both stopped riding.  It was a 7 year hiatus from the bikes in the end.  Dave sold his prized carbon fiber bike first, leaving only his mtb.  His reasoning was since he wasn't riding, it was taking up space in the garage, and it wasn't comfortable any more.  Less than a year after that I sold my Masi.  It too, was no longer comfortable due to arthritis in my hands.

Enter last year--Dave realized he needed to do something about his diabetes.  You can read his blog for more info.  He really took charge of his life and health, and began exercising.  I of course had to follow suit, because I didn't want to end up left behind, with all the health issues that I was looking at from obesity.  We started walking, and eating better.  We started losing weight!  We began to miss biking...

So since we still had our mtb's we took them out for some rides.  OUCH!  Everything hurt after those!  Especially my hands and back.  Dave too had unrasonable back pains, so we began to look into a recumbent bike to ride.  While our first recumbent wasn't love at first sight, the CONCEPT of a recumbent worked well.  We each got a separate recumbent not long after selling the Vision off.  Dave got an F5 RANS, and I got a RANS V-rex.  Both of those however were sold off this spring, and we replaced them both with Bacchetta Giro 26 bikes.

I really like the Giro.  It is comfortable, and capable of speed, even though this engine doesn't average more than 12-13mph.  Dave can crank it up to 16mph avg over 100mi at a shot, so I know it is the engine, not the bike.  I can ride for hours, and the only thing I am at the end, is tired!  We ride out into the county, on the back roads both for the safety of lower traffic loads, and for the simple joys of the scenery.  I love seeing this part of Texas.  It reminds me a bit, of the rides I used to take in NE Kansas, but without so much green, or that in-born familiarity of place.

Being on the bike gives me a little time away from wrangling the Monkeys.  It gives me my much needed and much appreciated exercise.  Sure I would like to ride more, but I have kids to raise, and a house to try to run.  So I take what my schedule will permit and run with it.  I have met a number of other similar minded riders in this area via RBENT. We have gotten together several times for rides in our area.  Everyone is tyipcally on a recumbent (bike or trike).  It reminds me a lot of riding with the old Lawrence Bike Club, only not so roadie-oriented...but the people and the camaraderie are much the same.  I like that, and I have missed it for so long.  I'm just glad to be back on a bike, riding!

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