Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike!

Padawan and I went to a bike shop today to get a bike for me. (He went and got one yesterday.) 

My vision of a bike was pink with a basket so Choo Choo could ride with me.

Well, wouldn't you know it, that's not the way things work. Every year a company releases a new and improved model of a bike, and it comes in two different colors. They rotate the colors over the years so that you know which year and model you have based on the color. This year's model of the bike I loved (based entirely on ease of mounting and comfort while riding) is white, silver, and blue.

It's not...ugly.

It's actually pretty.

It's know...not pink.

And the ones with baskets actually aren't for the kind of riding Padawan and I plan to do. You know, trails and off road and what not as opposed to riding down the sidewalk singing I Feel Pretty while the wind blows my hair out behind me and my cute little dog watches the scenery slowly pass by. 

Definitely learned a few things, though.

For instance, I am shorter than Padawan by a good six inches at least. We knew that. But my legs are about the same length as his, which I suppose means I've got some long legs despite my vertically challenged genetic short stick. (My sisters, if you recall, all tower over me by four inches or more depending on the sister.) We didn't know that. It's not like I spend a lot of my time measuring our legs against each other.

This means that while someone of my height would normally need a 15, my leg length required a 17, which is just under Padawan's 18. Do I know what the numbers mean? Well, it's not like horses, where you measure them by hands, average being fifteen hands if I remember correctly. But it's probably something like that. And then there's the issue of lowering the seat for my comfort. Ah, yes, that's great. When I tried Padawan's bike I had to lean further forward to reach the handlebars and the high seat dug uncomfortably into places things don't normally touch. So having a lower seat was a great feeling.

The only part that made me nervous was when they suggested that I never buy anything without test driving first. There were two bikes I tried, and I couldn't be compelled to take more than a couple of laps around the parking lot. I tried to suggest Padawan test them for me, but they insisted that it would only benefit me if I discovered which felt better.

Well, I liked the first bike I tried. Except that it only came in this ugly silver with absolutely no other colors anywhere unless you count the black tires. Now, it's not like color is all that important (as the salesman told me when he tried to hide his amusement) but I'm a big fan of fabulous. And plain silver aluminum is not fabulous. 

The second bike was easier to mount because the bar you stand over before mounting was curved lower. Which meant that I didn't have to swing my disproportionately long leg over the bike. That was immediately comfortable. The second thing I noticed was that my arms fit more comfortably and I didn't have to lean as far forward. The overall ride was comfortable. And it's not like I know what I'm looking for in a bike. Honestly, they're all the same to me except colors. I just know what was more comfortable to ride on, and that was more comfortable to ride on. I felt it immediately.

The second bike also had the prettier colors. And then, since I sacrificed the pink bike for what was best for me (and my tires are wider than Padawan's and my bike is more for off the trail. Which is good because it means I have better traction and I am less likely to fall) I decided I had to have a pink helmet. Helmets are, of course, all the same to me except color. I didn't bother looking at design or aerodynamics. I just asked to see whatever helmets they had in pink and then looked at myself in the mirror when I tried them on.

Given that I wear an extra small in motorcycle helmets, there were only two kinds of helmets available in pink AND extra small. One was too bulbous and when I put it on I realized I looked like a mushroom from Mario. The second one looked much better, and it was a slightly lighter shade of pink. Bingo.

Then it was time to buy everything and so I paid half up front (it's only required you pay twenty percent, but I like bigger up front and smaller staggered payments) and then the other payments will be started on the sixth of next month for the next four months. And I got to take it all home.

That, I think, is pretty nifty.

Of course Padawan and I headed to Brushy Creek to try me out on some of the easier trails. I was really wobbly at first, but I didn't fall. And then, you know, the heat combined with my out of shapeness and the lack of food for the day took its toll and I had to stop and go home after thirty minutes. I was pretty sure I was going to die of heat stroke despite the amount of water I was drinking. Then we stopped at Sonic where I got the best freaking Sunshine Smoothie ever and came home and took a cold shower that felt almost warm anyway.

And now I feel like I'm ready to go to Girly Night at the Drafthouse with Jazz to watch Troop Beverly Hills and drink a margarita.


  1. I didn't know that much about bikes either. I just know that most are too short for me and that if I buy one it will set two weeks after I have bought it.

  2. You happen to be abnormally tall. I bet you'd have to get a custom bike made. You could always try roller blades. Those are fun and you can't be too tall for them.

  3. I also had no freaking clue that so much had to be taken into consideration when purchasing a bicycle. However, I am very glad that you were able to find something that was perfect for you, and I wish you many happy hours of enjoyment on those biking trails. :)

    By the way, that bicycle song is TOTALLY stuck in my head now! It's been a while since I've listened to it. Maybe it's time to pull out the Queen album again...

  4. When I lived in Portland I used to ride everywhere. It was a very bike friendly city. If I tried that here I'd get run over by the first redneck that came along in a pickup truck. And if Padawan is handy with tools you could always disassemble your bike and paint it any color you wanted it to be.

  5. Queen comes to mind here. I want my BICYCLE, BICYCLE! BICYCLE!!!

    OK. I am done.

  6. "...measuring our legs against each other."

    It's that what the kids are calling it these days.

  7. My inseam is only 35". The thing that gets me is the pain on my sit bones and the leaning toward the handle bars. I'm thinking that I need one of those old people cruiser bikes.

  8. I haven't even ridden a bike in years. Mine got stolen out of my garage when we moved into this house. Bike trails are fun, though. Have fun.

  9. Sonic is a guilty pleasure. Just sayin'.

    Sounds like you had fun bike-shopping. The white, blue, and silver instantly reminded me of Cowboys' colors. I know, I can't help it--it always comes back to sports. lol

  10. Candice, it's amazing the rules that come with something that are supposed to be as easy as riding a bike. And there's even a certain way you're supposed to MOUNT the bike. Isn't that weird?

    That song, by the way, was stuck in my head from the moment I purchased my bike. I'm glad I could share. Now go pull out Best of Queen and rock on!

    Darev, I've heard Portland is very bike friendly. I dunno where you live now, but bikes aren't really easy to ride. I dunno why anyone would make fun of a's freaking hard work...

    Scott, it was the idea. Subliminal messaging. Next time I shall have you purchase pink fuzzy slippers for your wife and daughter.

    Bryan, if it is what they're calling it these days then I guess I have to take my statement back. We measure our legs against each other all of the time.

    George, I thought you'd be a 36. I was pretty close. You need one of those really big, padded bike seats. I've seen them and I'm considering getting on. You know...just to make the sitting more comfortable. (Though I've been told you can actually ride standing up.)

  11. Brent, I found that bike trails are fun...when they're down hill. When you have to turn back around and go back up hill on gravel...Significantly less fun. Unless you're a masochist. But today I saw an armadillo! A live one! So cute!

    Frisky, best smoothies EVER if you get the right one. (Sunshine smoothie, obviously.)

    Hate to disappoint...but mine is more of a sky blue than a Cowboys blue. Padawan's is more of a Cowboy's blue, though.

  12. Gahhhhh! Why must you tease me with these bike stories? Mine just blew a tire. I've been staring longingly out the window at the neighbor kids racing on their bikes. It's a good thing I don't live closer, or I might demand to take it for a spin.

  13. If you lived in Austin I'd let you take it for a spin and then you could tell me what you think of it, being an experienced biking woman and all. I don't mean to tease you. If you blow a tire on a bike does that mean you have to get a new one? I know car tires can be patched, but I suppose it's all different.

    You could always ask the neighbor kids to let you borrow a bike. You're nice and pretty and you probably like kids (at least moderately) so they would probably say yes.


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