I got a bike.
I actually got it two years ago, but am just now getting around to being serious (maybe) about using it. I wanted to get healthier and figured that biking was a good way to accomplish that. At the time, I lived in Colorado and thought that riding around the Rocky Mountains (or with views of them), would either inspire me to be more outdoorsy/healthy or kill me from the lack of oxygen at higher altitudes.
Fast-forward another year and I had moved to NYC. With the best of intentions, I headed off to the neighborhood bike shop to get my ride serviced and this go-round, I used it exactly...zero times. So sad...
Shortly after, I was on vacation in France and while visiting the Château de Chambord, I looked out across the grounds and noticed a group of about 20 cyclists. I thought, "Hey self! That looks like fun! I want to do something like that someday!" (It's going on the bucket list!).
I figured I should start working my way up to a bike tour in France, with something a little easier and closer to home and found the TD Five Boro Bike Tour right here in NYC, scheduled for May 2012.
The first thing I had to do, was enter a lottery to get into this event. And to my surprise, I got selected! This was the best thing that could have happened, because it has given me a goal with a firm date attached.
After another trip back to the bike store, I quickly realized, that I know zilch about cycling. I don't have any gear and I definitely don't have the right bike for this event. I also realized that cycling is an expensive sport. $230 later, I had changed out my mountain bike tires for road tires, got a helmet, lights, a u-lock and a bell. Believe me, I'm not done yet. There are water bottles, cycling shoes, repair kits, pumps, gloves and more to be purchased. I don't even know how to change a flat yet!
The weather in NYC has been unseasonably warm and I was able to head out to Flushing Meadow Park to do my first real ride. Whoo-hoo! I spent a good 90 minutes out in the fresh air, getting acclimated to my bike. Well at least it was "whoo-hoo" until after I got home, sat for a few minutes and couldn't get up because my knee was on fire. Add pre-ride warm up stretching to the list.
To my own surprise, I went riding again today (two times in one week? I must be serious.) and put 60 minutes in. I would've stayed out longer, but an almost gruesome incident involving a squirrel with a death wish, a near head-on collision with a stroller manned by an inattentive mother and severe cramping in my hands made me stop a little earlier than planned. I did get 5.5 miles in, which I am very proud of, but now I have a little under eight weeks to get ready. Can I do it?