Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bike 2.0

If you've been coming here for awhile to read about my not very exciting life (thank you, thank you, thank you) you know that in 2009 or so I got all excited about getting a good bike. At the time, I bought a Specialized road bike, and it was pretty awesome, but, it turned out, too much bike for little ol' me.

I didn't get to ride it a lot (though I did go on some awesomely long rides with my friend Patty, most of which culminated at the Cheesecake Factory) and I wasn't super fast or anything, but I got in a few of my favorite things (night rides), and I got some use out of it. One thing that I learned from that red and black bike was that the best motivator is a fun, safe bike. And I just never felt that safe on it. I think, though the bike store dudes tried to tell me otherwise, that it was just a hair too big for me.

Anyway, as you all know, then I got pregnant, and then I had a baby, and I started thinking that that bike was just not mommy or kid friendly enough... so a couple of months ago, I placed an ad on Craigslist, and I sold it. It was pretty easy to see it go, so that's how I knew I had made a good decision.

Last week I replaced it.

My friend Kim recently bought a bike, and she told me about the deal she got on a "dent and scratch" model, so I headed to the bike store with my money in my hand, looking for a way to get everything I wanted (bike and bike trailer for Exton) for just $800. I thought it was pretty good timing that the bike store was having a sale, but it turned out that I got a better bike than the one I went in for, and got a great deal on both the slightly dented bike (it has one tiny dent in the frame that no one will notice) and brand new Burley Bee bike trailer. OK, so I spent a little more than $800, but that's with tax and a helmet for Exton thrown in, too. I was really, really happy with my purchase.

Here it is:
Pre-ride inspection. "You want me to GET IN there?"

I got a Trek FX 7.5 WSD. It's white, with light green lettering, which is a little more girlie than I would like (blue or gray would be my first color choices)... but the price was right, so I can be girlie. It's fun to ride, lightweight, easy to handle, and I feel like a million bucks on it. The trailer is cool, too - it adds some weight but that's fine, as the purpose of being on the bike is to get stronger and fitter. Exton is not so sure about it just yet but hopefully we will figure out a way to get him comfy in there. So far we've mostly gone on short rides (and he did fall asleep during one, which I call a success) but he seems to get a little scared, and he doesn't like the helmet very much yet. So we've been keeping his rides short. He loves to be dragged around the backyard in it, and bounced around, but he gets a little panicky on the street. Since I want this to be a good experience for him, I'm trying to get him used to it slowly.

On Tuesday we stayed home from work to take him to a library thing in the morning; Patrick stayed home with him for his afternoon nap so I could go for a longer ride on the riverbed by myself. I rode out about 6 miles on the riverbed, and turned around (so my ride was just about 12 miles. Math-y!). The San Gabriel Riverbed is really beautiful, with lots of things to look at (and the water isn't fluorescent green or orange or frothy, like it was when I was growing up in Culver City and would ride along La Ballona Creek to the beach or school), including El Dorado Park (where I took a little break). As I said on Facebook during my break, I was never very fast and I'm still not. I passed one guy, a heavyset guy on a single-speed cruiser wearing what looked like a 50 pound backpack. That said, I SMOKED him. I'm sure he's still reeling from eating my dust.

The bike needs a few accessories (kickstand, at Patrick's request; water bottle; computer so I know how far/fast/slow I'm going; headlight so I can go on my beloved night rides) but I'll get those eventually. I'd like a shorter pair of bike pants/shorts. I have a great pair of padded Shebeest capris but it would be great to get a little color on my legs this summer! I found a great skort online at REI but I'm not sure about the length. I never show my legs, and it's a little shorter than I'm used to. And, I think I'd maybe like some kind of "performance" t-shirt, though I sure don't need anything fancy like a jersey specifically made by cyclists. Just something to wick the perspiration away better than my ratty old Police t-shirt.

When I got home, Ex was napping with Patrick, so I hopped in the shower and washed away all the sweat, and got ready to be a mommy again. It's funny how a little thing like a bike ride can make you feel like you again.

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