Sunday, February 24, 2013

Getting Tired

When I was a kid my favorite activity was riding my bike.  I could go anywhere in our small town as long as I was home by dinner time, or if it was after dinner, I had to be home by dark.  I don't know how many miles I logged riding my 20" bike around Dalton City, but I'm sure it was a lot.

I rediscovered my love of biking when I was in college.  I commuted to school and parking on campus cost a fortune so I would parallel park in a nearby neighborhood for free and ride the last few miles on the bike I hauled on the back of my car. (I might add, parallel parking was probably the most useful skill I learned in college, and I got really good at it).  As a bonus, I would have my bike to get around campus on as well.  I never could have made it to my meteorology class on time without a bike.  It was in a building on the north side of school about a mile from the quad where my previous class was held and I only had 10 minutes to get there.  

I bought a cheap mountain bike from Walmart (they called it the "Mountain Fury"), and after riding road bikes with thin tires and curved handlebars since I was a teenager, I was pleased to find this was like a bigger version of the 20" bike I rode growing up.  I could jump curves and ride off road or in the snow.  It was awesome!

Unfortunately my Mountain Fury was stolen, as were two other bikes I had during the 3 years I lived in Rantoul.  (My street was Maplewood, but we called it Maple hood. Fortunately the stolen bikes and an egging to my car were the only crimes we experienced while there.)  I still miss the Fury, but when Heather won a lightweight crossover bike (built like a mountain bike, but with thinner tires more fit for road use) that was too big for her, I was able to reconnect with my inner child again.

The Trail behind my house

I found a trail behind our house that's pretty fun to ride on, but I had to take turns super wide or the bike would start sliding out from under me.  The street tires just weren't cutting it.  Fortunately, I got a flat last week after running over a thorn while off-roading, and when I took it in to the bike shop I had them put a new tire on the wheel in addition to a new inner tube.  The new tire is much more aggressively treaded.  After taking it for a test run what a difference some decent traction makes!  I can turn with ease and speed, just the way I like it.  Now I'm flying down the trail, jumping ditches and loving life.  I'm glad my attempts to patch the old inner tube proved futile, and Walmart didn't have the right size tube to replace it or I wouldn't have made it to the bike shop and would still have my crappy tire.  Gotta love serendipity.

I'll be enjoying this scenery flowing by at faster speeds now