Saturday, December 28, 2013

Auntie vs. the Bicycle: Round 3

The first outdoor ride.
As you will recall in round two, I finally found a way to ride my bicycle indoors.  Indoor training is fine, but the awesome fall we had here in Alabama, plus the warm days that are always sprinkled within a Southern winter made me long to find a way to get out on the Chief Ladiga Trail. (As you learned in round one, biking on the fair streets of JackVegas is OUT.)  I searched for a bike hitch but the closest I could find fit a Honda Civic, but not a Honda Accord.  WTC?  As I continue the search, I must remind myself that a bike hitch is still much cheaper than a pickup truck.

Enter, stage right, my friend Tamara.  She and a few of us from Sav-A-Life were taking a walk together when a conversation about bicycling commenced.  Our other friend --I'll not throw Mikki under the bus by mentioning her name :) -- said she was afraid of the tushy pain of bike riding (wuss weenie).  Well, Tamara said she had no such qualms, plus she had a pickup truck WITH a bike hitch.  Hallalujah!  So, we set up a time to get together and ride.

Park in Weaver
I honestly don't remember how far we biked the first time, but I was immediately hooked and was hungry for more.  Finally, something GOOD to be addicted to.  I do remember that I kept asking Tamara if she was being nice by biking more slowly to help me keep up with her--I believe my exact words were "Are you messing with me?"  She said no, but I didn't believe her until we were headed back and I took off like a shot and left her in the dust--thus her nickname for me; Rabbit.  I didn't mean to, but it was so exhilarating seeing all my indoor training turn into real road miles.  Just as a side note:  in all of my indoor training I had no way of knowing how far I was riding, just how long.  A bike computer/odometer is on my wish list.

Early in November, Tamara's husband, Scot, their son, Jonathan, and their two crazy dogs, Bear and Lexy joined our bike team and we upped our degree of difficulty.  I was kind of scared that failure was coming because I felt like my other rides were adrenaline infused and the excitement drove the distance; not strength or fitness level.  However, that was not the case.  A few times we rode to the park in Weaver and back (about 10.5 miles).  We did an 11 mile ride heading north towards Piedmont, which passes by Germania Springs Park in Jacksonville.  I swear that ride is uphill both ways--and there wasn't even any snow!  The topper was riding from our community center--our normal starting point--all the way to the Alabama end of the trail in Anniston (12 miles round trip). To ride all that way made me feel accomplished, like a real athlete.  Now, when I climbed off the bike I was an athlete with a sore butt doing the Fred Sanford walk, but still an athlete.

Now that Scottish winter has set in here in 'Bama (Alba Gu Brath, y'all), I will have to be content with my one woman, '80's music spinning parties with an occasional outdoor trek.  I can't wait for spring!  Who knows?  When I can finally get a bike hitch (or a pickup truck) and more training, I may ride the length of the entire trail (about 33 miles).  Just be prepared to come get me; that will probably be a one way trip.

Auntie: 3, Bicycle: 0  HAZZAH!

Cue the music after I get off the bike.


  1. This is great, Shannon. Really, really exciting to hear what pleasure you're getting out of cycling. Carmine