Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's like riding a bike.

Aaron came home from running errands to today all excited about a new idea: buying a bike. Since our new house is almost too close to work for him to drive his scooter (it's supposed to warm up for 2 minutes, and that's about how long it would take him to bike) and his mountain bike is about 11 years old, he thought he'd buy a cruiser bike that I could also ride if we all wanted to ride somewhere.

One problem: I haven't been on a bike in years, and it had been possibly decades until that last time. After which my rear hurt for three days.

I learned how to ride a bike while living in Imperial Valley, a little housing development in Bismarck. The neighborhood is a big circle with duplexs (or twinhomes, if you prefer) all the way around, and just a big empty field in the middle. And folks, there were kids aplenty. The field was covered with bike trails and jumps, pitholes and little forts. Heaven. Especially if you happened to be a 6 year old boy, like my brother Dave.

My first bike was pink and white with a banana seat. I rode it around to friends' houses and stuff, but was never too adventurous.

And then we moved to the farm.

Scoria roads (you know, those pink roads in Western ND) and bicycles do not mix, apparently. Brother Dave had become quite the biker, and I had not, but I was still horrified to discover one year that he got a new bike for his birthday. I think Mom said something like,"But he RIDES HIS BIKE! And he can take it into town to ride with his friends!" Which to me sounded like: "You don't have any friends to ride with anyway!"

That was the last time I sat on a bike until Aaron and I lived in Rochester. And my rear hurt for three days. Did I mention that already?

After dinner tonight, we took the kids down to Island Park Cycles. We had some good help from employee Asa, who also talked to the kids while Aaron and I rode a couple bikes around their parking lot. This is the one we liked best, but we're not rushing into anything yet. Personally, I'm waiting to hear from my two brothers, who are as close to biking experts as I know.

The kids had to try out bikes of their own, and Ben managed to climb all on his one onto a lime green two-wheeler with training wheels. He also ripped a helmet out of its box and insisted on trying it on.

Leah does pedal her trike and even steers pretty well by now, but Ben is too little yet for his trike, but he motors right along Flintstone style. He likes to cruise down the driveway and make a quick little left turn onto the sidewalk. Which is why he is soon going to be wearing a helmet, too.


Shannon Joy said...

Hey Lyz-
Could you be so kind to tell me how to make the neat-o links that you do? I have been trying to figure this out but apparently, I am not tech-savvy enough. I know how to do the web address because you just type it into the blog. But, I want to just do the word. What's the catch? Thanks for any advise!!
p.s. i've been a scrapbook loser lately-i'm soooo behind on Leighton's book!!!

mama.nichols4 said...

I used to know a thing or two about bikes but that was about as long ago as your last bike ride, so I'm not much help except in the way of mentioning that it's all about the seat! (prevents the rear pain)

I tried to convince Ben to look at my bike so I could go riding with the kids.. he laughed and told me to look at new ones. (he bought me mine before we were married!)

I hope you have luck in your biking expenditure, it will be a fun adventure afterwards!

nydampress said...

Yay bikes! Boo to hurt bottom. Hear is the solution, bike shorts!

I know what you're thinking, "Spandex, yeah riiiight!". But they make many styles that look like a normal pair of capri pants (old navy-esque), but have a secret weapon of a chamois layer within.
I'll send ya some links if you are interested!

Aaron said...

Kate is right. Though spandex probably isn't necessary for a ride that short, or on a bike that relaxed. I like the "liner-style" bike shorts, they are lighter that regular ones and you can wear them under normal pants or shorts. Very stylish and comfortable.

That bike you guys picked out is okay. What I'd recommend for a n00b is something with as little technical parts as possible. A bike with an internally geared hub is a great solution for that, they require almost no maintenance and you don't have any ugly derailleurs or stuff like that on it. I'd take a look at Electra Bikes to get some real eye-candy going on.

Ruth said...

i'm very confused at the aging of bikes. do they get grey hair and not turn their wheels fast enough?

do not throw these bikes away. Nay, it is time to tune them up and turn them out, enjoying the sunshine and blacktop they deserve.

yay bikes. yay recylcing bikes.

Noel said...

A three speed is adequate for Fargo: into the wind, with the wind, and for the rare day when there is no wind.

My 5-speed 1971 Schwinn Collegiate met this need very well until the spokes broke about 10 years ago. Then I started riding my wife's 10-speed Schwinn Varsity which was well used when she got it in 1987. A year ago she got a 1-speed for her rare rides with the family.

Time to go for a quick bike ride with daughter L at her request...