Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning to ride a bike as an adult: The Bike Shop.

I went in a little nervous. I knew I was going to have to get on a bike. I'm not quite sure why, but I dreaded this.

I kept reminding myself that I really wanted to do this. No one was forcing me & I wasn't torturing myself. I actually wanted to learn.

First impression of the bike shop was..."Wow!!!"; Husband & I weren't expecting it to be so nice inside (...well, he went in totally blind; I almost always "google" new places before actually going. Am I alone in this?) The last bike shop we'd been in left a lot to be desired.

This place was cool!

Helmets for safety! Will they fit over this head though?! Wait...don't answer that. Ha!

Yep...the hair is back curly. Stay tuned for upcoming hair posts! I tried a few different styles while it was straight, and decided to hold off on Aveda.

Yes, that is a dressing room back there!

How chic are these baskets? Want!

If you're in the south suburbs of Chicagoland, I highly recommend stopping by GoodSpeed Cycles, especially if you're into riding.

The guys who work there are friendly, and they know A LOT about bicycles! My newbie questions were answered, my silly ones were entertained, and no one hurried or pressured us to buy anything (don't you just hate that?).

There was an overall sense of excitement & true passion about cycling, that got me pumped about learning how to ride!

Tommy, who assisted us, was the epitome of the above (circled), and best of all, he understood my situation.

I told him that I:
• never rode a bike before
• was scared
• didn't want to be that high off the ground
• planned to ride for leisure

Based on my size, situation & concerns, he suggested two bikes: a Trek comfort hybrid, and an Electra Townie. The latter having "flat-foot technology" (comfortable, upright seating; and both feet can touch the ground while you're sitting).

We took them both out to the parking lot, the seats were lowered, and I got on each one to familiarize myself.

Tommy gave me pointers, and I tried implementing them...every one except going a little faster:(

I pushed off the ground with one foot, wobbled, tried catching myself/stopping the bike with my other foot, wobbled, pushed off the ground again, raising both my feet...
I think I glided once, maybe twice?...before things quickly got unbalanced again.

I did this a bunch of times around the parking lot.

Balancing was difficult (as I wasn't going fast enough) because, speed, or the idea of it, was scary. Gliding was nice. Wobbling was getting quite frustrating, and my legs started to hurt a bit because, I wasn't actually pedaling, so my posture wasn't exactly how would be if I were riding normally.

I felt very odd, very stiff, sweaty, nervous & emotional.

Somewhere between wobbles, excitement left me, and a few times, I thought I might cry. My "dramatic mind" kept fast-forwarding to the very moment when I take off on my own; balanced, pedaling, riding.
Like a child in the movies when their mom or dad finally lets go of the seat...only, I'm almost 30.


I told myself to toughen up. It's just a bike!
No big, right!?

Husband assured me that I could do it!
Tommy assured me.

I wasn't so sure.



At September 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Blogger Neeta said...

I'm excited for you! Just keep doing it! I learned as a kid and miss riding. I think Hubs and I will have to get bikes for next summer! You got me pumped to start back riding! It will get easier! Take your time and don't think too hard about it.

At September 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Jhan said...

What a neat looking shop! I agree with Neeta. You will learn to ride without fear in due time. I do understand excitement turning into frustrations, though.

At September 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM , Anonymous naturallyniara said...

Aww so cute. Don't give up! It's true when they say once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget.

At September 21, 2011 at 11:04 PM , Blogger MerelyMarie said...

I appreciate the encouragement ladies...Thank You:) I will not quit.


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