Cycling Experiments

I am becoming quite the investigative reporter (or so I tell myself, but like I told Tab what I believe is my reality, no one else will think I’m great if I don’t: Muhammad Ali was on to something with his ‘I’m the greatest’ bit). Colorado is huge on exercise, which is probably why they’re considered one of the fittest states, they’ve got exercise down. And boy do they have variety: trail running, hiking, rock climbing, yoga, snow boarding, skiing, skateboarding, and BIKING. I am a lover of life, adventure and all things new. I’m willing to try most things at least once, so on Wednesdays exercise posts I’ve been trying to expand my grasp and put myself out there to try some of these exercise alleys. Obviously by the title and emphasis on biking, that is the topic line and experiment for the day. From my first day here, I knew (and witnessed) the biking phenomena. There were clearly designated biking lanes and spandex clad individuals blindingly speeding past me on thin wheeled professional bikes.

Now before we get into this completely, I think I need to give a little personal background into my own colored history with the vehicle. I enjoy the nostalgia of bikes- I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to them (mostly retro, basket clad ones with character and personality- you know things that scream Brittany) and Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race’ has always had a special place in my music selection. I love cruising around town on my Slick Chick 40-something-year-old bike, but there was a time I did not ride. As a youngen in the Tecumseh countryside, I would ride all summer long with my cousins and siblings. Cue in the summer of my 8th year: Tecumseh hill. A beast and curving daunting killer to an 8-year-old girl. I start down, but total fright takes over. I let go of the handle bars, peddles and absolute control. I end up in a ditch crying, as my sister’s boyfriend goes into the tavern, so I can have my daddy come pick up my hysterically over-dramatic self. After that there was a fear and rules with riding: my feet HAD to touch the ground. I did not ride bikes down hill. Overtime I began to ease up on some of my rules, but the fear was always hidden deep within.

Cue in Colorado. These people are a beast. I catch them on rocky trails, as I dodge to get out of their way and ogle at their ridiculous calves and shear nerves. I watch open-mouthed and unashamed as I’m walking on Pikes Highway and they whiz by me going as fast as I drive in my car. Wow, they seem fearless to me. So for investigative purposes and to tackle fear and comfort zones, I took on biking this week. Normally I like to completely look the part, but I sacrificed a little week, keeping more Brittany than usual-a slick chick is not really a road racer- but I did wear as much spandex as possible. No I did not ride down Pikes Peak, but I set off on two wheels more than on foot or the 4 wheels of my car. I’ll admit I was sucking wind. Sure there were parts where I didn’t have to pedal because it was all down hill, but that means I had to travel up on my way back. And some of those hills definitely challenged the memes of my past.

What I learned? An even fonder appreciation for bikers. I am not Eddy Merckx, but I am gradually increasing my willingness to ride. It’s okay to face fear, but it’s also okay to admit that some things just don’t interest you. Like, I don’t like long distance running. I don’t enjoy riding down mountains or rocky trails on thin wheeled bikes with my shoes snapped into place. I do like taking out my retro piece on Sunday’s morning to stroll and catch up with my mom or brother or sister. I think it’s great and admire road/mountain bikers. Get it, but it’s not for me (I’m best on my own two feet-I’m a simple girl at heart). I’ll watch it in awe and promote it, remember just moving is a plus, from the sidelines. If you relish in the power of two wheels (or one, I saw a boy on a unicycle last week), do it!

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