I've been toying with the idea of getting a bike since last summer -- and now that I think of it, both kind of "bikes" were on the radar: motor and pedal.
It's been an internal back-and-forth between the two for me, knowing that my current budget wouldn't likely support both of my two-wheeled hobbies.
After a couple of trips looking at both, I ended up getting one last weekend -- with pedals. Apparently, they are very uncool, amateur pedals, almost embarrassing so rest assured that my plan is to get rid of those as quickly as I feel comfortable moving into some clipless models.
I think it's a pretty good decision. Not a hint of buyer's remorse.
Don't get me wrong, there's something about a rumble of a motorcycle and the thrill of the open road that you just can't beat. Plus, I successfully passed my motorcycle license test last fall and wanted to put my new skills to work.
But I know that I'll get a lot more personal satisfaction from my shiny, new pedal bike.
From everything I've heard and read, cycling is great cross-training for runners. It helps with hill training and endurance without the constant pounding on your body. Great for anyone training for a marathon or just runners in general.
Plus, my new bike isn't just any ordinary bike -- at least that's what I gather from the feedback I'm getting from my friends who are "in the know"... It's an all-carbon, pretty-darn-sleek-looking, "seriously" comfortable riding machine.
According to my friends, it's a good choice and I'll be flying down the road with ease in no time at all.
Those people obviously didn't see my first ride.
I might have looked the part (and I'm not even sure of that) in my brand-spanking new gear, but anyone who watched me for more than a minute would know I wasn't a cyclist.
I certainly didn't have a comfort level on the bike that I've seen others have. My shoulders were tense and at times I was conscious of how tight I was holding on. At times I felt as if I were crawling along in slow motion.
And don't even get me started on shifting, which I played around with -- for the entire 16 miles -- as I tried to get a feel for the bike.
Still, I liked everything about my first ride -- the wind in my face, the smell of fresh air, taking in new sights, even my frustration as I climbed harder-than-expected hills or wobbled as I tried to keep the bike going while I reached down for a drink.
I'm looking forward to this new challenge and some great cross-training.
See you on the road. (Just please don't hit me.)
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