Friday, January 9, 2009

Bike Hunting

I posted at length about starting the diet, but the other big part of this whole plan is to start getting more exercise. A lot of that is walking, but I also want to get back into doing a lot of bike riding.

Way back in High School I didn't have enough money to buy a car, so I decided instead to get a good quality bike, and that was my mode of transportation. I worked on the opposite end of town (Lincoln) and rode my bike to work most nights. In college I rode that thing all over. And then again about 10 years ago I started riding a lot again, even riding in an MS-150 bike ride, a two day ride, 75 miles each day. I've always enjoyed riding, so I figured this would be a good thing to get back into.

Bike shopping is an experience. I got to a few stores, even took a look at some bikes at the big box stores and all. My experience in the past though is, if you want something you can depend on get it at a bike shop. The big differentiator is the support you get there, where if you have a problem with a Walmart bike, you're pretty much on your own. Some stores you walk into, and they have you right away at the 4-figure bikes. While I understand the value of a good quality bike, I'm still not quite ready for a bike that has a comma in the price tag, you know? While that day may come, it's certainly not here right now.

From my experiences, I would say this much. If you're in the Denver area, I would highly recommend Wheat Ridge Cyclery. I would say the difference comes down to how they approached things when I came in. Everywhere else, I got asked what kind of bike I wanted and what my price range was. When I went in there, I was asked what kind of riding I was planning on doing, how often, all of that. Then they pulled out a handful of bikes and had me try them out to see how they felt. When it was all said and done I came away feeling like I had the right bike for what I wanted to do.

I ended up getting a Trek 7100, a hybrid. It's got the build of a mountain bike, which is actually important considering it's gotta hold a guy in his upper 300's, but there is a lot of road functionality. The price is pretty good as well -- okay, not compared to a Walmart bike, but it's right in the range where I feel like I have a quality bike that's going to do the job quite well.

I'd love to outgrow the bike some day, and graduate up to something higher end. That would mean that I'm really getting somewhere with it.

So this was last Saturday. Weather wasn't so great then, in fact it wasn't too great Sunday either, with temps in the 20's, but I couldn't wait any longer. I had to get out and try some of the trails near by. The Platte River trail is only a couple miles from my home, if that, so that made sense.... I'm glad no one got a picture of me in my coat, ski mask, and bike helmet. The only thing that would have been worse is if i was still wearing glasses.

Probably the biggest thing that stood out in my thoughts about that bike ride is... one thing about the platte river is it's in a valley. Which is great for getting to it. Coming back is a killer. It may be awhile before I'm ready for those 100 foot climbs in 2 blocks. But at least that's not too far to walk a bike, eh?

When I got back, I google earthed my route, it was 10.1 miles that first day out. Not bad, and I didn't feel shot. So that's one more thing to keep on my tally. I haven't ridden since, just as hectic as the day gets (and the fact that I didn't get myself a light for the bike yet). But I'm looking forward to getting some riding in in weather somewhat warmer.

Okay, enough of that novel. I got in some more walking tonight, so my tally would be:

Biking: 0 miles today, 10.1 total
Walking: 2.5 miles today, 4.65 total
I mentioned the 273 earlier -- that makes 20 pounds lost total, 12 since December 24.

And the important thing is... I feel good!

No comments:

Post a Comment