I hadn’t ridden a bike in a number of years, and I found myself wanting to get back into the habit. The weather has been nice around here lately, and I wanted some outdoor activity besides just walking.
I did a little preliminary research into what I wanted in a bicycle, and eventually made my decision. The purchase didn’t stop with just the bike, though, as I also need a helmet and lock. Then there was the whole process of getting the bike home, requiring the purchase of a bike rack (and learning how to use it).
Finally, I made it. Everything was home. Then the rain started. And then I had to go back to work. Finally, a day off with nice weather, and I’m off for a ride.
Problem! I live at the top of a hill. Which isn’t a big deal when I set off for my ride. But it was a very big deal when I wanted to return. I had a tough time figuring out, and getting accustomed to the various gears, without trying to master a hill. I have to admit to it — the hill kicked me in the keister!
So now I’m looking for some nearby trails. Something relatively flat (a small grade is okay, but I’m not yet ready for anything more difficult) that will give me a chance to get used to the bike and how it handles, while also building some stamina. A friend told me about the King County Bicycling Guide Map, which is available online as well as in hard copy at various libraries around the county. I’ll be picking one up on my next visit.
It would also be nice to have someone to ride with, so I browsed Craig’s List to see if I could find any biking groups. Unfortunately, everything that I found seemed like really serious riders. Even though some said all skill levels welcome, I didn’t really get the feeling that these groups were looking for the same experience that I am.
While it will be nice to be a little more fit, my real purpose in getting a bike is to enjoy the outdoors and to have some fun. Way more social than competitive. So — if you know some bike groups in the area that are designed for the novice rider, with a non-competitive focus, I’d love to hear about them. Please leave information in the comments.