Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The wheels (at least those in my head) are turning

I'm considering buying a bike.

This is major becuase I really suck at riding street bikes. I tried to learn a few years ago. My friend A. will remember the disaster that was, as she tried to teach me in the park. She only laughed at me a little... Once she even included a mandatory post-lesson tequila shot... We both needed it by then. Long story short: I can do it, but it ain't pretty.

Maybe all the hours I have spent on the stationary bike this past year at the gym will help? Then again, maybe not... I listen to my iPod and I'm sure I have way too much lateral movement in my ribs (you know... groovin' to the tunes) to transfer it to a real bike. I'd probably go flying... or lurching... or just have people in the street titter and stare...

Hhhmmm... I am already talking myself out of this, so I'd best move on...

Anyway, thinking about getting a bike because:

  • The gym is fine, but I have seriously missed some outdoor activity this year. Biking I can do, even with the injury situation.
  • I'd like to find ways to incorporate more (or maybe just different?) activity into my day.
  • It's just time to try something new... or in this case... try it again.

One of the things that holds me back is that I have no idea what to look for when buying a bike! None - nada - rien - nul - zippo!

What I do know is:

  • I don't want anything expensive. Wipeouts are expected. Why drop huge amounts of cash on a "crash test dummy", so to speak?
  • My legs (like the rest of me) are short. We're talking a 28" inseam here. OK, you can stop laughing now! I have found that bikes I have tried in the past are just too big - even with the seat all the way down. Where to find one short / small enough? Moreover, how the heck do you fit a bike anyway (without going to one of those expensive speciality stores where you could easily drop a year's worth of tuition on one)?

I am just letting this idea roll around in my head at the moment. Not sure what to do... Any advice or comments are welcomed...


Sarah said...

No advice, since my bike riding abilities are about the same as yours.
: )

But funny I was just thinking along similar lines. I think cycling would help my running. But for me at this point that means more stationary cycling.

backofpack said...

Sarah, you could go to the expensive store, have them fit you, then shop around. At least you'd know how it should fit. Do you read No Try's blog? I bet she could give you some advice. She's on a bike team, does tris, and works part time in a bike shop. Best of all, she's really nice.

Check her out:

Turtle Guy said...

Get a department store bike... probably best to, as BOP says, get the pros to fit you, find the ideal frame size etc. and buy a "try-me" bike. If you're super into it, then upgrade. You can always offload the old one.

Got some other ideas too - I'll talk to you about them tonight.

Bast said...

I swore I would never ride another bike when I left Cambridge. So far, so good. Didn't you mention inline skates to me once? How about some of that action?

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

Did you say you want to buy a bike?

Yay! I love bike riding ever since I was a kid.

I bought mine at wal-mart for around a hundred dollars. It's a boys bike because like you I too have short legs, and my in-seams is something like your's in length--or is it 29 inches? I forget, but short I'm 5 ft. 3 1/2 in.

When you are looking for a bike sit astride the seat with both feet on the floor, and your feet must touch the floor or it's too tall for you.

I usually buy boys off road bikes because they are made more rugged and have big fat tires, and sometimes you can find them on sale, or this time of the year on clearence.

Also you can change the steering wheel or the seat if you don't like the one on your bike, usually you can get a replacement at a decent price at most bike shops, and some Wal-marts as well.

Also there are other options like a three wheeler bike, or a modified adult training wheels if you are having trouble with your balance.

I hope that helps.


Granny said...

Have fun. They say it's a skill you never lose.