Hell on Wheels.

Watch out now!

As I mentioned yesterday, a few weeks ago Casey and I spent the weekend shopping for new bikes. I had been wanting to get a bike for a while, just to have an alternative to running and to try something different. Casey decided that he wanted one too, and did some research on what we might want to get. He wanted more of a “road bike” since he wanted to try using it for commuting. I just basically wanted a bike to ride for fun.

Shopping for a new bike was much more stressful than I anticipated. First of all – bikes are expensive. I had no idea that they would cost so much! Second – with running, I know all the lingo, all the gear, what I need, etc. I realized very quickly in the bike shop that biking was entirely new world that I knew nothing about. Sales guys started asking me questions that sounded like Japanese to me. I kept trying to stress that I was not a serious biker, and that I really just wanted a good, solid average-joe bike. Not too fancy or complicated, but also not so basic that the grandpas will pass me on the trails.

Meet my new ride…the Specialized Globe Vienna One!

It is described as, “the multi-tool of city bikes – as versatile, efficient, and economic as they come. Once you realize your college 10-speed isn’t what it used to be, go for this simple, clean, and reliable bike built for your everyday commute, fitness break, or casual loop.”

Sounds perfect, right? So far it is, and I’ve really enjoyed riding it. The only problem is that I don’t really have a clue what I’m doing. Each time I go for a ride I figure out a little bit more, but the progress is slow and steady. Also, the more I ride the more gear and accessories I decide I need. So far I’ve accumulated:

– a sporty white helmet (totally justified – safety first!)
– a pink under-the-seat bag (to store my phone, camera, keys, $, etc.)
– riding gloves (my hands were killing me)

Next on my shopping list is either a scary pair of padded biker shorts, or a new padded seat because my ass was killing me after riding 20 miles last weekend. It is weird to be back to being a total beginner at a sport. I feel like I’ve got the whole running scene down – I may not be the best, but at least I know what I’m doing. With biking, I can’t even take one hand off the handlebars without swiveling everywhere and almost crashing. Literally, square one. I am not confident enough to ride in the street yet (despite Casey’s pleading), so I’m sticking to the trails for now. Last weekend we drove to the Little Miami Bike Trail, and did out and back ten miles each way. It was a good chance for me to get some more riding experience, and a good workout too – my legs were like jello at the end.

So far biking has been a fun way for us to mix up the cardio and enjoy the nice weather. I hate being indoors when it’s nice outside. A few people have asked me if we’re thinking of training for triathlons. It’s definitely something I’d consider down the road, but probably not any time soon. I am a really bad swimmer, so I would need a lot of training and practice. My swimming experience pretty much consists of flapping around in circles to keep myself alive, and screaming at the tv during the Olympics.

Did I mention that Casey has been biking to work every day? Oh, and did I mention his office is ten miles away? Yes that is correct – he is biking 20 miles to work and back every day (unless it’s raining). He is insane. I am sure he’ll consider triathlons before I do, and I will be happy to go cheer for him!

Next weekend, there is a big charity biking event in Cincinnati called Ride Cincinnati that benefits breast cancer research. You can choose to ride either 18.4, 26, 45.2, or 65.8 miles, and they say it is a ride, not a race. Still, my concern is that with my limited biking experience I will:

a. be the slowest rider
b. kill myself by darting into traffic
c. kill someone else by losing control of my bike
d. choose a distance too far for me and not be able to finish

I really like the idea of participating and I think it sounds fun, but the thought of riding in a big group makes me nervous. It’s not like running where you just elbow people out of the way! I’m also not sure about distance. I kind of want to try for the 45.2, but I know how my legs felt after 26, so I’m not sure.

Like I said, biking is a whole new adventure for me, so any and all advice is very appreciated! And no worries – I’ll make sure to post pictures as soon as I get my scary padded-butt spandex:)