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.)
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.)