Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mountain Bikes and Hamster Wheels

The term "spinning my wheels" had a whole new meaning a couple weeks ago when I took my new mountain bike out for a spin.

It was a gorgeous day and I had been wanting a bike for quite some time. Those of you that know me well know that I'm not one to wait for something ... so ... the first ray of sunshine I saw, I took that as a directive to buy a bike. Sun = bike. It all made perfect sense in my head. Trust me.

It's important to note that prior to this adventurous day, I'd not been on a bike since I was a kid. Probably since I was 12ish. I'm 32. Yeah, that's awhile ago.

But being the stubborn gal that I am, I insisted that I didn't need a "gears" and riding lesson. I mean, how embarrassing. The phrase "it's like riding a bike" flashed in my mind as I thanked the (very cute) sales person and plunked down my credit card. I couldn't wait to hit the open trail. Wind in my hair, breezing over hills, twisting and turning over the terrain ... awww ... this was gonna be awesome!

So off we go. I get on the bike, take aim down the trail, and instantly start sweating. Ok, so it turns out that the whole pedaling thing is much harder than I remembered. My legs are pumping at 1,000 mph and I feel like I'm hardly moving at all.

I try to suck it up and continue down the path all the while thinking I'm going to die and never make it the whole six miles.

Meanwhile, my riding partner is breezing through the ride. She's not sweating at all and she looks comfortable and relaxed.

Geesh! I'm WAY more out of shape than I thought I was!

I call for a break, mopping the sweat off my brow with my glove to which I then need to wring out before putting it back on.

My riding partner just chuckles as I rant about how hard this is and how out of shape I am and why does anyone wanna ride a bike again anyway and I'm not sure I can do the whole trail and who said horses worked your legs cause mine are dying and why didn't someone talk me out of getting a bike and I should never have paid this much money for a crappy bike that's pedals can't push the bike forward and ... yeah .. on and on.

At the half way point, I've had enough.

I encourage my buddy to get on the bike so that she can see how outta control this whole stupid bike is.

She steps on and starts off down the trail ... pedaling like I was. She looks exactly like a hamster on a wheel!

She drives back, checks the gears, and says ....

"Yeah, you've been riding in first gear."

Well, HELLO! That's the kinda information I shoulda maybe needed to know 3 MILES AGO!

She casually flips the gears up to 3 and takes off down the trail. One teeny, tiny push of the pedal and she's flying.

I guess it would be good to end this little post with a statement like "I learned my lesson that day" or "I'll be more apt to take direction and a lesson in the future" or any other number of positive statements ... but ... the reality is that I'm still me and I'm sure that next time a cute boy is helping me and I want to seem all smart and stuff, I'll still do something like this and end up looking way more foolish in the long run.

Makes for interesting blog posts though, right?


  1. What a great one today! I can totally relate and am still laughing (with you not at you!!) I have the been there done that T-shirt on the gear thing!! :)

  2. You had Dennis and I both laughing. Now I need to share our rule with you - the difficulty of finding your pedal after a stop is directly related to the need to get moving.


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