When I got my hair done at Jolene’s, we were chatting about workouts. I had started Zumba before our vacation, but was having some issues with it, health wise.
And that’s when Jolene piped up with, “Do you have a bike?”
Ha. Yeah. I sure did. It was a garage sale special from years ago, and currently, the seat consists of one rusty spring sticking up. No wonder I never wanted to use it. 🙂
But she got me thinking. I’ve wanted a new one to ‘fit me’ for some time. So after my hair appt, I set out for a dedicated bike shop.
(Jack’s in Chilliwack served me right! / not a sponsored post)
Just to look.
(insert laughter here… remember how I just ‘looked’ at cats?)
My eyes fell on a pretty aqua cruiser. Ohhhh, they were nice! But after I tried it, I questioned if just pretty would cut it. So I tried out others. Many of them.
I quickly found a good fitting bike is like choosing the right shoes. Everything has to fit, or you won’t use it. So I had the sales guy tweak the handle bars, the seat, the whatevers, with each bike I tried out. Yep, I was ‘that’ customer.
But I also knew in my heart that if I found ‘the one’, I’d be bringing it home. Because I didn’t want to do all this twice!
I didn’t do endless price comparing with other places. To me, it was like buying a Mac. If you know what you want, you go to the right place, you pay the price, and get the good stuff. I’ve been to many places that sold bikes before, and there’s a reason I never came home with one.
Oh my, guys…. a good fit is WORTH IT! This beauty fits me like a glove. I don’t feel like I’m hunched over some metal contraption you have to balance just so. I feel like I’m sitting up, coasting around in an arm chair made for me. It’s effortless!
It. Is. Perfect.
I ended up with a Specialized Expedition Sport. It’s a hybrid, which is a cross between a cruiser and mountain bike. Tall frame, 21 gears, suspension in the seat and front to help reduce impact.
I also got fitted with a high powered LED light, front and back, fenders, good fitting helmut, and a rat trap (um.. pannier?!) with two basket styled saddlebags.
I wanted the front basket, but with this model, it would have sat too high, hindering view. Plus I was told you have more control if the weight is on the back.
I ended up falling hard for those dual wicker baskets, so I’m glad!
Quick tips on landing the perfect bike… for YOU!
1. Walk into a quality bike store, and ask for help.
2. Get each bike you try out custom fit to you. They can adjust handlebars, seats, so much.
3. Take each one for a short spin outdoors. You will be shocked at how differently they all feel and ride.
4. Try and take your mind off the price tag, and go for the fit. That’s the one standing thing that will keep you on that thing.
5. Get the accessories you need right away. Fenders, lock, baskets for carrying stuff, and good lights would be my very minimum. Even today’s helmets are effortless to use, many with magnetic closures. I wear mine all the time.
6. Park your bike in a super easy location that will entice you to get on it often! Mine is in my front entry. No lie.
7. Venture beyond places you’ve never been before. I discovered an entire network of new trails once I took that leap!
8. Prepare your family that you’ll be out more… because you WILL!
And little did I know just how much I’d be needing the bike very shortly…
My son, a friend and I head to the drive in one evening. Fab time as always! We went all out, with the canopy off the truck, with tons of soft stuff to sit on.
But as we were heading home, the truck dashboard went black. Hmm… the light burnt out? No idea. No worries, I’d get it looked at the next day.
Well, once we got on the highway, we got flashed down by cars, so something was up. After figuring out I had no tail lights, we head down a side road with the hazards going.
Not a block from home, in our tiny itty bitty little town, I get pulled over by the police.
I thankfully got just a ticket warning, but with a 5 day deadline. Yikes.
So I took the truck in the next day, with a quick fuse exchange. That’s it?! Done! Great!
But not for long. The next night, we were in town in the dark, and BAM. No lights again.
The next day I made a call to get the truck in again. But this time it would have to stay. Meaning… I needed to leave it with them, not wait around for it like last time.
When the neighbourhood didn’t answer, I knew what I had to do. But I gulped hard.
I could drop off the truck and ride my bike home… but it was a LONG way. LOOOONG. I am not an athlete. So this was a big deal.
I mean, I got the bike because all other exercise appears to be too difficult for my old injuries. And now I’d have to PUSH IT. While out of shape.
I decided I needed to just go for it, reasoning I could stop on the way home and take pictures. 🙂
After dropping the truck off, I went next door to the store for some soup first… you know… before my long journey and all. 🙂 And that’s when I started chatting with a couple guys next to me. I asked them about some train bridge I heard of, that could cut my travel time in more than half.
And that’s when I learned the bridge was just down the road.
And I also learned, that bridge came out on the other side at the end of MY road!
Oh my goodness…
This is kinda big news for me. This means, I am bike riding distance to the other side of the river where it’s all country. The area I grew up all my life. Think bike and camera… ohhhhh adventures, here we come!
Oh. And did I have a whistle on me to scare off wildlife I could meet?
Nervous as all get out, I went looking for the bridge anyway. So glad I did. The trail took me through a heron reserve and so many gorgeous sitting points near the water’s edge, I nearly died!
But today was about getting home before it started pouring.
Or I got eaten by… raccoons? I’m pretty (not) certain that’s all that’s here…
And before the train came.
I think I aged 20 years today.
So I hustled across.
Every time some hardship seems to swerve my way, something else always takes care of it and just betters the situation.
The bike has given me even more independence. And it’s like an all new world undiscovered, right on my front doorstep. For free.
p.s. thanks Corinne, for driving me back to my truck during that downpour!
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Do you bike?