Monday, March 17, 2014

Auntie vs. the Bicycle: Round 4

I've been trying some new things with my cycling workouts.  I mentioned in an earlier post about trying a very good online spinning workout.  I even tried a ride at the Henry Farm trail with my friends Carmine and Susan.  Stupid me thought is was just another paved offshoot of the Ladiga Trail.  It's not; it's a mountain bike trail full of hills, rocks, and trees with their accompanying tree stumps.  After losing my water bottle, nearly hitting a tree (more than once), almost breaking the handlebars off the bike, and falling more distance than I was riding, I decided to put this on the "not again" list.  Carmine kept encouraging me, saying it was because of my bike (in the process I finished warping my back tire--a fact I didn't notice until months later).  I keep telling him that he could put me on the most expensive high-end mountain bike and I would still suck at the trail.  Susan kept telling him to get me off the trail before he killed me.  Oh well, the fun with my friends was worth the failure.

If you've been keeping up with my previous cycling/spinning adventures, you'll remember in Round 3, my friend Tamara and I started riding the Ladiga Trail whenever her schedule allowed.  Therein is the problem.  Tamara is a very busy wife and mom who home-schools her son, and travels frequently with her husband's job.  Because she was the one with the bike hitch (and later a bike I could borrow that didn't have a wobbly back wheel from aforementioned trip to Henry Farm), my rides have been at the mercy of her availability.

Anyone who knows me well recognizes that I do not like being too dependent on other people.  I don't want to be too clingy or inadvertently use people like I did in my 20's.  Fear of that happening again made me really antsy to find a bike hitch that fits my car and a bike without a warped wheel.  In my search for a hitch, the guy from one of our local bike shops said he might have one that fit a Honda Accord...for around $150!  This is the same guy who tried to sell me a $55 stationary trainer for over $300.  No thank you.  I found one online, but was hesitant to order it due to ever-tightening budget constraints.  So I just prayed about it and waited.

Cut to this weekend at the annual Honduras Medical Missions Trip yard/rummage sale fundraiser at my church.  Friday, I went by and looked around for a bargain.  I saw a treadmill, but the price was little more than I could spend.  One of the guys from CR told me to come back on Saturday because everything would be half price.  Sounded good to me.  I went back Saturday...and the treadmill was GONE!  Oh well.  So, I looked around for something else.  I found a bicycle that looked to be in pretty good shape.  The tires were flat, but they were also brand new (they still had the little rubber nubs on the sides).  It was only a few dollars, so I took a chance.  In the process of arranging for someone to bring the bike to my place, one of the guys told me that there was a universal bike carrier for sale.  WHAT?!  So I bought it and the guys attached it to the trunk of my car.  It fit just fine.  Well ain't that God at work?

After a little tweaking to the bike (switching out the 'naner seat that felt like my taint was slamming against a plank, with the seat from "wobbly," and raising the handlebars so I don't have steer with my knees) I hooked her up and planned for a Sunday evening ride.

It was so freeing to go out to the trail without having to wait on anyone and without them having to wait for me to catch up with them.  For safety, I check in and out with my friends through social media or texts.  I have several local friends who would rescue me (or bail me out of jail if I had to jack up someone for bothering me on trail).  I rode a leisurely 4.5 miles to try it out and it was glorious.  I also snapped a few pictures and saw some nice stopping spots what will be gorgeous once the spring blooms pop out.  I can't wait to get out there again, but right now, it's raining.

Auntie 4;  Bicycle 0

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