Day 76 – Two wheelin’

17 03 2010

On a cross-training Wednesday with temps near 70 I wanted to get outside today, so I got back on my bike for the first time this year. Dusting off the seat and pulling it from the depths of the garage was a challenge. But the following 10-mile ride was a smooth change of pace from running.

Neighbors and their dogs were out everywhere — rollerblading, chasing frisbees and basking in the sun. It brought back those unforgettable first spring rides when I was little…on my bright yellow bike with the ’70s floral banana seat and purple basket — sweet! I used to cruise the neighborhood for hours with a sense of freedom I could only find on those two wheels that could take me wherever I wanted to go on my own. Well, at least on the east side of Grand Central Avenue.

I traded up on my 10th birthday for a metallic baby blue ten-speed that came with new privileges to venture farther down the road. Bicycling in the spring sunshine was later replaced by faster rides in high school friends’ convertibles and then cutting college classes for beers on the patio. Totally liberating signs of spring and independence!

Last summer I racked my 20-year-old Trek hybrid for a used Schwinn road bike I bought from boot camp Patti. It is a much better racing bike, although it badly needs a tune-up. It and me both — feeling my rusty bike muscles.

In summer (a.k.a., my triathlon season) I love bike training days. A chance to move faster with much less effort than running or swimming, while still getting a great workout on the hills. For every incline there is the oh-so-rewarding downhill glide that brings me back to my banana seat once again.