I got a new bicycle this weekend!
Our neighbors who have deserted us for the beautiful world of Bend, Oregon decided to sell their bikes. Mark already has his that he likes and really before I came along he rarely drove anywhere and was always on his bike.
My biking experience has been…well I fall down. A Lot.
Most of my biking memories as a child involved our neighbor carrying me in one hand and my bike in the other and depositing my scraped, bloodied knees to my mom.
I’m not a great bike rider. I don’t think I ever really have been.
So yes, “it’s just like riding a bike” is a truth, but what if you were never great to begin with? I had doubts.
As an adult, I got a freebie from my friend Missy and S.P. and I spent some weeks that summer riding around Lake Heffner. That was awesome.
But I fell on the first day and had road rash and bloody limbs so bad that when I finished my ride and went to the store for bandages people were stopping asking if I needed help. Or an ambulance.
So still…not good. And that bike was mine and it was a dear and wonderful gift, but it never quite fit me. I didn’t know that at the time. But everything about riding it hurt. I would look at people who loved to hop on their bikes and ride around the city like they were crazy people. How could they actually ENJOY that?
And then on Friday night, after work, Mark and I walked down to our other neighbor’s house where this bike was being stored and I rode it.
Mark said, “I’ve never seen you smile like that before while riding a bike. You look so happy!”
And you guys? That bike fit. It didn’t hurt. Not my back or my arms or my whoo-ha. I rode and rode and didn’t realize it but fell in love. We went home and discussed the options. It’s a top of the line bike. So even with the really great deal that we got on it…it’s a chunk of money.
What if I only fell in love with the “idea” of riding a bike?
What if I could find that kind of feel on a bike several numbers lower? Wouldn’t that be just as good?
We talked and talked and talked and at the end of the night I had talked myself out of it. I sent a text to Julie and said that I would pass, knowing that she had other people interested in the bike, and I went to bed. Sad.
Saturday morning, we got up bright and early and went to several local bike shops here in town. I test rode several others of varying style and price points. I wanted to like the lesser bikes, I did. Because I have a hard time spending money on things for myself, and especially since I just had the wedding to end all weddings. It seems…grandiose. Unnecessary.
But it wasn’t just me. Mark made note that the minute I got on one of the other bikes I became unsure, wobbly, the bike rider he was used to seeing. It felt like a bra that was just a size off. I mean…I could make this work. We could be bike riders together on this bike. But in my mind I was already counting forward until I could get off and be finished with the whole thing.
We went to another place and I rode a bike of the same brand but different make and while it felt good, it was juuuuuuust different enough. And it was pretty ugly. We liked a few things about it but…
Mark looked at me and I looked at him and he said,”this isn’t your bike is it? Your bike at home.”
So we came back home, and I test rode Julie’s bike around the neighborhood and I felt so safe and the breeze was in my face and I was ringing the bell (it has a bell!!!) and Mark was watching me with a grin on his face and we came in and bought the bike.
I’m so thankful that Julie was patient with me and didn’t sell it to someone else.
I’m so thankful that Mark is also so patient with me and understands that I get nervous and am scared of falling. He coached me all day on the rules of urban bike riding.
Once the bike was ours (that text that said SOLD was my favorite one ever) we immediately set out and rode all over town. We stopped on main street for a bite of lunch at the Diner, we moseyed over to the antique shop and looked around, we moseyed into the record store and looked around, then we came home. It was glorious.
I love seeing how happy Mark is to be back on his bike. I love how excited he is to think about what this means for us now, how he went to his “bike stuff” and got me some blinkies for riding at dusk. Once Julie gets unpacked, she’ll send me the pretty little brown basket that goes in front. Squeeee!
We rode back downtown last night for some dinner and stopped in to listen to some music before coming back home for porch time.
It got really hot here this weekend. Hot and humid. But on the bike? Such a cool breeze! All in all we estimated about 8-10 miles yesterday. And I’m not even sore today. No leg craps, no bruised bits. I’m ready to ride again!