Taking a Risk

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that last year I struggled with tendinitis, followed by a nagging knee injury.  My running and dancing days were, essentially, over.

I was devastated.

For a while, at least.  But I picked myself up and re-configured.  I started swimming.  A lot.  And I kept up with spinning class.  I started strength training.  And I joined a tougher Pilates class.

But this voice inside my head kept whispering . . . bicycle.

Around the holidays, I was at a party and ran into an acquaintance . . . who just happened to be a cyclist . . . who just happened to convince me that not only did I need to get a bike -- but that I also needed to join her "women's ride" each Tuesday evening beginning in the spring.


That voice in my head . . . bicycle . . .combined with the words of that acquaintance. . . just kept getting louder and louder and louder.


I got a bicycle for my birthday!  (And a super attractive day-glo green helmet, too.)

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Now, other than a few here-and-there events and riding with my kids when they were little, I haven't been a regular bike rider since . . . oh, my teen years (when I actually rode a bike all the time).  I've been riding around the neighborhood quite a bit this spring (weather permitting) (ahem) -- but I'm certainly not ready for prime time (which means I haven't joined up with my acquaintance's weekly women's ride yet).

Bike riding is a little intimidating for the newbie.  And dangerous.  (As Tom is quick to point out.)  (Often.)  


I signed up for Bike Camp!


Bike Camp is a 4-week program sponsored by the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and designed to teach cycling-newbies all the things they need to know -- from rules of the road to safety tips to bike maintenance to the importance of proper gear.  Bike Camp also includes a group ride each week (you pick -- 5, 10, or 15 miles).  

I hesitated about Bike Camp.  It sounded . . . well. . . a bit too routine and mechanical to me.  Maybe even a little nerdy.  But Tom encouraged me.  And the acquaintance-with-the-weekly-women's-ride encouraged me.  So I signed up.

Our first session was on Saturday -- and it turned out to be JUST what I need.  I'm going to learn a lot (already have, actually), I'm meeting other newbie-cyclists, and I'm gaining confidence.  Before you know it, I'll be a regular member of that weekly women's ride!

The downside?  It was only 43 degrees (F) on Saturday morning -- and windy.  That 10-mile group ride was pretty brutal in those conditions.  But y'know?  It was also kinda fun!  

And I did it.  

(And I liked it.)






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Good for you Kym! Get out there and enjoy the breeze in your face and the sun on your neck as the miles fly by. The class sounds like a must for anyone on a bike on the open road. You may have to "envision" the warmth until the temps do go up. Take care out there and happy cycling!


This is the best post! I can hear your roar from way over here in Pittsburgh! Before you know it you will be entered in Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen bike race that happens yearly over Thanksgiving weekend! I promise to cheer you on, just sayin'! XOXO


I think the thing I most admire about you is your fearlessness in the face of change. You GET out THERE and DO IT. You inspire me to try new things. I'm so glad this bicycling journey is working out and I wish you many happy rides. And also, padded bike shorts.


Good for you for taking the thoughtful risk to try Bike Camp instead of the dangerous risk of riding without all the safety info. you can garner. And if you happen to be visiting Brian and Lauren in September you can ride in the Tour de Fat! Bikes, beer, and bemusement!


Woo Hoo! So exciting and NEW FUN. With the extra time I have on my hands now I've been thinking I need to do something. This post has given me one more nudge to figure out what that might be! XO


Fabulous!! Camp sounds wonderful... except for that ridiculous weather!


This is so wonderful to hear! Safety is very important on a bicycle, so bike camp is a great idea. Get yourself a high viz jersey. No one looks good in neon orange or lime, but it really does make you more visible out on the roads.


Oh you are an inspiration. After two knee replacements, my doctor has been encouraging me to take up bike-riding as a good cardio exercise that wouldn't put too much stress on my knees. I don't have a problem with riding a stationary bike especially in the winter, but when the weather is good, I'd love to be outdoors. I will have to find a "bike camp" of some kind in my area to get myself ready. Thanks for the inspiration!


I'm jealous of your bike camp! I ride quite often, but for transportation. I'm pretty sure I'm not up to "real" rides with "real" cyclists. What a great way to get ready for the road!


You're going to love that bike and it's going to take you to amazing places! Be safe! Have fun! Ride your heart out!


oh my goodness - SO COOL! (well except about the weather Saturday morning - NOT cool ;-) What a perfect way to get into biking. ...hummm... I wonder if there's something like that around here?!


You are a hero! Back in my college days I rode 25+ miles a day, home to the U, back home, home to job and back. Biking is great for everything south of the rib cage :-)


Your energy and willingness to try new things is definitely an inspiration for us couch potatoes!

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