Friday, September 6, 2013

Auntie vs. the Bicycle: Round 2

As you will recall in round one, I was blessed with a bicycle, but had a little trouble trying to ride it outdoors.  If you don't recall, feel free to click the link and read it right quick.  Even with all the issues with my first attempts at riding, I really enjoyed it and wanted to find an alternative.  So, I got on the internet and did a few searches.

I found out that I could get a stationary trainer to ride the bike indoors.  Hmm, sounds like a plan.  I can ride inside all I want and when the occasion arises, it's easy to detach the bike so I can ride outside.  There's a bicycle shop close by, so I stopped by there to ask about a trainer.  They had one...for almost $300!  And that didn't even include the $30 stabilizing block to level the front tire (what fool is going to ride without one?).  Back to the 'net I go.

Well, to the rescue.  I found a stationary trainer WITH the stabilizing block for less than 1/4 the price of the other one (including shipping, thank you).  Now, I am very persnickety when it comes to ordering anything unfamiliar online.  Even if the price looks good, I scour the reviews for any potential problems.  Other than the reviewers saying it was noisy, there weren't any apparent problems with it.  So, I ordered one. 

While I waited for the box to arrive, I looked up some websites about spinning and cycling and got some great information.  By the time it arrived, I was pee-in-my-pants excited (I'm already thinking one woman 80's disco spinning party).  I opened the box, took out the contents, and looked at the instructions, and looked at the instructions, and looked at the instructions.  The pictures on the instructions were black and white, blurry, and absolutely no help.  The written instructions weren't much better.  I knew I was in trouble when saw that they had spelled tire with a "Y" (tyre?).  Luckily there were video instructions for this very trainer on YouTube.  Ah, now it makes perfect sense...until it got to the part about replacing the quick release skewer with the skewer the trainer came with.  Rut-roh!  When I figured out what a quick release skewer was, I also found out that not all bikes have them, including mine.  Double rut-roh.  That little tidbit was nowhere near in the product description or the reviews.

Fortunately, there is another bike shop even nearer by.  I muscled as much of the bike into my trunk as possible, put the trainer in the front seat, and headed off (praying that the cops wouldn't find my Honda "pickup truck" a hazard).  I told the guy at the shop that I needed a back tire with a skewer.  Instead of just putting on a new tire and charging me who knows how much, he tried out the bike on the trainer as it was.  Turns out that the coupling on the trainer fits the bolts on the bike's back wheel just fine without any modifications.  Since I didn't have to buy anything, I tried to give the shop owner some money for his troubles; he would only take half of what I gave him.  Classy.

So, I packed part and parcel back into my makeshift pickup and headed home to set up for my first ride.  My intention was to only go for a 15 minute ride.  Well, let's just say after the song "Born to Be Wild" got me started, and "Crank it Up" started the sweat machine, I forgot about the time and rode for 30 minutes, changing gears at different times to see how they felt. 

When I got off the bike, I felt great...all but my derriere.  Anyone who says that cycling or spinning is a low impact aerobic activity never did it with a trunk without enough junk, if you know what I mean.  :)

I've been on several rides, and can't wait to do more.  I've got to get my playlist ready for the 80's disco spinning party!

Auntie: 2,  Bicycle: 0


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