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And then I bought a bike!

I've been slowly and carefully regaining strength.  It's taking much longer than I would have liked, but bodies can be like that.

As part of this mad health plan, I decided that if I gained enough strength, I would get myself a bike.  Today I went into the best-reviewed local bike shop.  (My criteria were, in order: reputable and women-friendly shop, woman specific bike designs available, upright comfort style, step through frame, within budget.)

They were super nice.  The guy asked me all kinds of questions about what I was looking for, my priorities, my ride plans, without telling me my wants were silly or stupid.  He did not get bike-snobby whatsoever when I said that stability and comfort were my most important criteria.  He just said, "Sure!  Lots of people who get back into biking prefer that.  Let me show you something that might work for you." 

He explained thoroughly and carefully each of the various bikes that might match my needs.  Then he helped adjust a trial bike and set me up in the parking lot with a helmet.  I played with the gears, I tried the brakes, I listened to the explanation of various options for adjustment.  He talked to me like I was an intelligent person who simply hadn't had the opportunity to learn this stuff before (which I hadn't).  He focused on what I said was important--stability, safety, and comfort.

The bike he recommended for me was customizable in a few key ways.  He explained that when I started riding I might feel more comfortable with the settings in such-and-such a way (lower seat, for instance, so I could put my feet on the ground easier).  After a month or so, he said, when I was more steady in my balance, that might no longer be necessary and I could switch to the (easier for actual biking) slightly higher seat. 

What a difference a good bike person makes! 

I picked her up an hour ago (they assembled one in my preferred color for me and then put on the rack in the back).  I had mom drop me off, then I rode her home (after another gentle test drive in their back lot).  It was glorious!  I really like the more upright riding position.  It was gentle on my knee, without sacrificing balance.  I was easily able to brake, turn, and change gears. 

When I got home, I felt confident enough to just tool around the back streets of my neighborhood for a few minutes.  I didn't want to overdo, so I pedalled slowly home and put her away. 

In case people are curious, I bought a Giant/Liv Sedona DX.  I considered several models, including the Cypress and some others, but this one had more stability.  It fits my body, and I can ride without pain.  She's a soft turquoise, which I liked better than the black for some reason.  I could have had a wider range of brands and styles if I'd been able to stomach the jerks at the other stores, but I felt it was more important to buy a bike from someplace I could trust to do a tune up or teach me to do various adjustments. 

So!  My plan is to (gently, gently) work up to riding her on small errands, such as to the farmers market or to the grocery for milk/cream.  For the first couple weeks, my only goal is to make it easy and fun to gently bike around the neighborhood. 

*zoom zoom*


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
How exciting! I would love to have a bike, but I don't feel like my neighborhood is safe to ride one in. (Not crime. Traffic.)
Jun. 10th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
It's one of the niftiest things about my new neighborhood. Not only is it basically a sleepy cozy forested neighborhood of wide streets and big sidewalks and few cars, there are honest to goodness bike trails all over the place.
Jun. 9th, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
When I bought my bike, the salesman was seriously SO HELPFUL. I ended up with a mountain bike because that was better for my short self - I'd apparently have to pay a bundle for a road bike that would actually fit me well. Go figure.
Jun. 10th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Mine has mountain bike wheels for a bit of extra stability. I couldn't figure all the minute differences out, but I could sure tell that the one he helped me choose fit exactly perfect.

I went on a little tour of the neighborhood today. So exciting. Wheeeeeee! I, uh, may need to get some of those fluttery ribbons for my handlebars--like they made in the 70s. Surely someone still makes them.
Jun. 12th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
They totally still do. Sometimes they are glittery.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )