Bikes have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
In fact one of my earliest childhood memories was my dad pushing me off to cycle for the first time without training wheels.
That sense of accomplishment and freedom is something I never will forget.
My summers as a youth were full of bicycle excursions that took me all over the San Fernando Valley and into the Topanga foothills.
For awhile, my bicycle was my sole method of transportation in Los Angeles, which is no easy thing when your job takes you all over that expansive mass of suburbia, trust me.
I raced BMX for a time, in my teens.
I am semi-proficient on a unicycle, at least enough to get around for a bit while in a unicorn mask. (Granted it's not a bicycle, still sort of the same genre, more or less)
I've done one triathlon, a sprint on a dual-suspension mountain bike.
I have owned bikes of every size and variety.
Except for a road bike.
I was intimidated.
By the commitment, in regards to time and money...
and those skinny tires...
and the exclusive, elitist culture...
the shaved legs...
my gigantic body at least compared to the elites of the field....
but I've finally made the plunge
Oddly enough, one of the best things that came out of working on my last film project was acquiring my first road bike.
The production designer, who is essentially my boss, is an avid cyclist. And I am quite bi-curious, as in intrigued by the whole road racing culture.
I got swept up in the Lance Armstrong/ Tour de France frenzy years ago. And even after I stopped believing in the Lie, a few years before Lance's admission, I continued watching the Tour and longing to join the Peleton.
But like I said before, I wasn't quite ready to make the plunge.
Towards the end of the show, after I signed up for a couple of marathons and realized that I would need to do a certain amount of cross-training in order to be ready and not end up over-training in the process, I told him I was ready to buy a bike.
He immediately started researching which bike would be best for me, given my budget and needs as well as finding which local shop might have it in stock. Within an hour, we were headed over to Bayou Bicycles.
They rolled out what was to soon be my newest bicycle acquisition. The sale-person/bike-tech was quite knowledgeable and would learn that my boss was much more versed in the fine points of the velo. I was fitted like a prince before the Royal Wedding; having an improper fitting bike was another one of my reservations, so this was a dream come true.
The two of us only managed to go out on one ride before the job came to an end and we parted ways. I learned a lot on that ride and was physically pushed. But it was a flat and straight ride on a bike-path along the Mississippi levee.
Running Out of the Belt-line
Yesterday, I decided to get out and onto my red roadster. I planned to try to stay on the Belt-line bike walk so that I wouldn't have to worry about cars while I was still learning basic things like turning and getting my feet out of the pedals.
Last summer when I bought new bike shoes and snapped into my mountain bike's clipless pedals after having not done that in probably close to a decade, I ended up slowly crashing and banging up my right side because I couldn't get my feet out.
It sucked and I was embarrassed, but it would have been much worse had I been going faster and/or was in traffic.
I was breezing along the bike path which was still fairly empty and before I knew it, I was at the end of it. I was feeling comfortable with the pedals and stopping although I was still getting the hang of shifting. I decided to go for it and venture onto the streets with the cars.
Atlanta is pretty hilly. Not mountainous, but certainly hilly.
Actually it was the perfect amount of hilliness. Enough to be a challenge but not so steep as to be overwhelming for my first ride out in Atlanta.
After around an hour I'd had my fill and came back home.
Today I'm a bit sore but I am sure excited get out again.