Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I miss my bike ... my REAL bike!

Y'know, it wasn't many years ago (five, maybe) I was riding my road bike a lot. Rode it to work and home most days (~8 miles each way, 10 if I went around the long way and hit Starbucks (yes, I do have a coffee cup holder on my handlebar)). Longer rides on weekends. I was averaging 100 miles every week and loving it. Starting to do long organized rides. The longest single-day ride I did was 56 miles, and I was training for my first century (100 miles).

I had started riding as a way to get fit and have something I could do with my (now ex) husband, an avid cyclist his entire life. Started out on a cheap hybrid that I felt "safe" on, as it had been a good 20+ years since I'd even been ON a bike, but soon caught the riding bug and graduated to a steel-frame touring bike. He was the "bike expert" so I bought the bikes that he insisted were the best for me, and I struggled for a long time trying to make them fit my body on frames that were, in hindsight, wayyyy too small for me ... even down to having a custom frame built but letting him measure me for it ... I ended up giving that frame to his sister. She's 5" shorter than me and it fit her perfectly.

I finally woke up to the real problem, put my foot down, and picked out my own bike without his influence. It fit me like a glove and I loved it. His only comment when I brought it home: "I would never have dreamed of putting you on a frame that big ... but you were right!" (I think that was the only time in our 10-year marriage that he admitted that I was right about anything! *grin*)

I absolutely loved riding that bike. It felt like a dream! But I had only put around 300 miles on it before I suddenly started having problems with my joints, directly related to a medication I'd taken for a number of years, and had to stop riding. It took two years to get that med completely out of my system and my joints to start settling down enough that I could try riding again, and then every time I did something else would happen that would stop me. Seemed like every time I'd sling my leg over the saddle I'd wind up hurting myself in a completely unrelated way within just a few days.

I still have that bike, still love that bike, wish I could actually ride that bike. It sits in my living room, mocking me. I can see it when I'm on the spinning bike. I can hear it calling me, "Isn't that booooring? Wouldn't you rather be out there on meeeee?" I pedal that spinning bike a little faster and daydream about hearing the pavement sing under my tires.

I keep spinning and make promises to my bike: "Soon, bike. I promise. Soon. I'll do what it takes, whatever it takes. You and me, we'll be back out there very soon. I swear."

We will. I promise.

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