Back In The Saddle

March 05, 2006

After a ten year hiatus I have started to ride my bicycle again. Last fall I took the better of my two bikes out of storage and over to the neighborhood bicycle shop for new tubes, tires, and a general tune up. For having been moved four times, and stored for much of the past decade or more, it was in surprisingly good shape. Too bad the same can't be said about me.

I rode twice in late October, the first ride was a neighborhood shake down ride to see if the old adage is true. I didn't fall or otherwise injury myself so apparently you really don't forget. The second ride was more ambitious, with a friend from work who rides regularly. He was very patient and understanding as I struggled to crest even the shortest hills, and needed frequent breaks to catch my breath. In all we maybe rode 10 miles.

My total milage for 2005? 11 miles. W00t! Hey... it's eleven more than 2004, 2003, 2002, et cetera, combined.

Today turned out to be a very pleasant early spring day, with a windy high of about 65 degrees. On my way to a lunch out I thought about getting a pair of riding shorts and a frame pump and going for a short ride. Knowing myself self as well as I do, I bagged lunch and headed for the bicycle store instead. Ten minutes and $90 later I walked out with new shorts, a water bottle, and a pair of vinyl clad hooks to suspend the bike from.

Ten minutes after that I was back at the store with my Cannondale in tow to size frame pumps. I ended up spending another $65 to get both a Blackburn frame pump and a floor model for use in the garage. After twenty or so minutes I had the hooks mounted and the bike up off the floor and more or less out of the way. (After I sized up the garage later I think I found a better spot. Moving the whole setup will have to wait for the next warm weekend however.)

With my water bottle rinsed and filled with water, my new shorts on, and a nylon shell as windbreaker I set off for another neighborhood shake down ride. You may not forget how to ride but that doesn't mean you are graceful or coordinated at all. In just over twenty minutes I managed to cover about 5 miles. Not stellar, but a beginning.

And just for grins, here is a Wayfaring map of my route today.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.