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Rubber legs

Nine things I learned today

  1. River City Bicycle is a really good bike shop, and Kate, the salesperson who sold me my bike and helped me get it adjusted before I rode off, is a fantastic human being
  2. There are bicycles EVERYWHERE in Portland. I knew that. But I didn't know it know it till today.
  3. Climbing from river level on the Eastbank Esplanade to the top of the riverbank at Rose Quarter? Steep. Kate was right about the 21 speeds
  4. Northeast Portland from Rose Quarter to chez moi? Not as flat as it seems
  5. My new bike is HUGE. I'm calling him Clyde, short for Clydesdale. I heard someone say "That's a lot of bike." I would have answered "It's a lot of cyclist" but I was too busy steering and stuff
  6. The slower you go, the more likely you are to go all woogedy and risk falling off, so keep pedaling.
  7. Quadriceps, baby. Still got 'em. And boy are they gonna be screaming at me tomorrow
  8. Walking your bike for a while is okay, as long as you're mentally rehearsing your comeback: "Hey, it's my first day!"
  9. Getting back on and hitting the little downslope on 7th Avenue just before Fremont? It's like flying. And being a kid again.

The ride home from River City Bicycle is about 2.5 miles. From home to work it's about four. So it will be a while before Clyde is my main form of transportation to work. But I'm gonna become a Portland bike commuter the same way I decluttered my house: one little bit at a time.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Go you!

And I hope your quads forgive you quickly. You don't know how important they are to simple stuff like sitting down until they are pissed off at you.

I got a free bike that needs repaired, but my town is really really daunting -- there is not a flat place in town, and my driveway is the hill of DOOM. So it remains unridden.
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
So true about the quads, and yes! I have a new and awe-inspired respect for people who cycle in towns like Seattle and San Francisco. (Hell, I'm in awe of people who drive a stick-shift in San Francisco.)

I think I'm in a perfect situation to build up gradually. My commute is short, a good bit of it really is pretty flat, and Portland is EXTREMELY bike-friendly (i.e., drivers are used to cyclists and there are tons of bike lanes, etc.). I have kind of a tentative goal of being able to cycle to and from work most days AND do my grocery shopping on Clyde within a year.
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
Riding a bicycle slowly is metaphorically difficult. When I was a kid, I had a book of things to do when you're REALLY BORED, and one of them was to draw a big spiral maze on the sidewalk and then have bicycle races where the *slowest* rider (presumably without ending up in the ER) won.
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Heck, I'm still learning to turn a corner in a wide-open street! I've seen these amazing Japanese competitions where the goal seems to be to make the bike jump up to and down from big blocks, and stop there without riding off. The control is incredible.

Me, I'll be happy when I get better at stopping for a stop sign and then getting moving again.
Aug. 31st, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Awesome! Quads, if I recall correctly from when I used to run a LOT, get over it pretty quickly, so don't sweat it even if you're super sore tomorrow. It passes fast.
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
As I recall from the dim, long-ago days when I was in shape, you're right. My fit cyclist sister recommended high doses of magnesium and lots of water. I hear and obey.
Aug. 31st, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
10. Don't drive into bushes.
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
LOL! Yes, or into parked cars, which I cam a little closer to than was best today. But I took Clyde out for a second ride this afternoon, and I'm improving.
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
11. Helmet hair is sexy.
12. Sore butts eventually go away. If they are from riding your bike.
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
So far so good on the sore butt. And helmet hair IS sexy! I'm all for that. Now, if there were such a belief about stinky sweat...
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
well, at least you didn't try riding about 6 miles one day.

i had decided a few years ago to ride my bike to work and on a sunday, i said, we'll, i'll do the ride and see how long it takes so i know how early i'll have to leave. so i did... there were a few more hills than i realized...and by the time i got to my destination i was feeling pretty exhausted - but i did it! lol! took me about an hour i think... maybe hour and a half.

i rode the bus home. the next day i was dying!! everything hurt! haa!!

brilliant, right?

after i'd recovered, i decided to ride to my nearest train stop for a bit and then and then the plan was to ride to the next one, etc. and gradually lengthen the distance i would ride until i could ride all the way to work. um. i rode to the first stop for about a month ('cause i would always get up too late to try to make it to the next one) and then abandoned the plan.

lastly, i swear by this. if you aren't already - go buy a box of epson salts and soak in some really hot water. it will help you soooo much!

eta: forgot to say - go you!!! and i love your bike!

Edited at 2009-08-31 03:20 am (UTC)
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
I have some concerns about the same sort of thing happening to me--good intentions, etc. My huge advantage is that, when I get up the fitness to do the commute, it will actually take me LESS time to cycle as to ride the bus to work. Hard times have resulted in greatly diminished bus service, so if I'm running late, I'll be motivated to ride rather than wait for a bus.

I was really tempted to overdo it today, but my totally unfit state was its own limitation. You pushed yourself way further than I could have done.

And yes! I swear by Epsom salt! That stuff is mostly magnesium, a great muscle relaxer, and the best way to absorb magnesium is through the skin via warm water. Epsom salts=cheap, effective, save, and a total win.
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Is that Mal's lovely ass I see? Will your ass look like that in a year, after riding Clyde religiously, or blasphemously? You keep surprising me babycakes!!!!! So proud of you!
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:36 am (UTC)
Ha! Yes, that's Cap'n TightNoPants right there. No, my ass is never going to be that nice. But Clyde and I are going to have some fun times.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 31st, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
No! No! The idea is to be inspired and eager to join the bike world! I took a second ride yesterday, just over to my mom's house and back (about a mile each way, pretty flat, all quiet back streets), and it was all I could do not to hop on this morning and try to ride to work. The certainty of unseemly sweaty exhaustion gave me pause: I'm not yet equipped to wash self/change clothes in the gym-ette.

But I was tempted. it's just that cool and liberating to ride a bike.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )



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