Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How I'll bike you.

Let me just put my cards on the table; mountain biking doesn’t sound fun. It never interested me. The main reason is probably not what you would assume. You might think my lack of interest stems from being a city girl. That would be a great guess, except I actually grew up in West Virginia and absolutely salivate at the chance to get some quality quiet time amongst the trees, fresh air, wildlife and dirt. Buildings make poor substitutes for trees, bus fumes don’t refresh my lungs, squirrels and rats barely qualify as wildlife and the dirt…well the amount of dirt is pretty much the same but there’s a huge difference between dirt and dirty.

So we’ve established that the great outdoors aren’t my deterrent. So maybe I’m a girly girl. Maybe I’m scared of getting hurt and even more terrified of damaging my new cycling attire that looks adorable on me? No (I mean, it does look adorable, but you can always buy more!). Being from West Virginia, I’ve done a lot of rafting, rock climbing, hiking, skiing and camping. I’ve dealt with the stiff muscles, gashes, broken ribs, poison ivy, black eyes and even a case of meningitis from a trip down the New River (gross). Any physical activity has its risks. Some carry larger risks than others, but it sure beats sitting on the couch and watching Teen Mom 2, so bring it on.

I’m not sure what your other assumptions would be, so I’m going to stop guessing because it makes me sound like a know-it-all. So here’s my reason: I hate cardio. I have no endurance. Running is horrendous. Jogging is ridiculous. I stick to yoga, hiking and playing with my dogs for all my exercise and that works for me.
My lack of interest in cardio has everything to do with how tiny I am. I’m 5’2” and 95lbs. I love food, but I don’t LOVE to eat. Most of the time I don’t think to eat until I’m starving. Starvation has always been the signal that it’s time to stop one of the many things I’m doing and eat one of my three two meals of the day. My daily caloric intake is around 1700, and that gives me all the energy I need to do the things I like to do. I lose weight quickly, so I’ve always stayed away from any activity that burned a lot of calories. I've always wanted to gain weight, but forcing me to eat more has never worked so instead I stick to physical activities that build muscle and not endurance.

So when my husband started to campaign for me to join him in his new found love, I instantly said no. For a year I stuck to that answer until some reasons in the “pro” column started to inch their way up to the top of my decision list: quality time with Michael and escaping the city. Finally I decided to just give it a chance so when the annual November question of “what do you want for Christmas?” surfaced, it seemed like the right time to finally answer, “I want a mountain bike!”.

This marks the beginning of my documented experience as a, you guessed it, beginner. You won’t get the bike speak from me. I’m not going to tell you about my sweet ride or the killer line I owned over the weekend. My husband is much more qualified and has already established himself as the tech perspective for the blog. I’ll be telling it from the newbie’s point of view. Any mechanical features that my bike has or lacks and how it relates to my experience will be totally unintentional and probably won’t even register as a connection from my point of view.

Instead you’ll hear about how the pads in my shorts feel like a medieval sanitary device, how frustrating it is to hear that I’m not starting or stopping my bike “the correct way”and that I love the fact that my bike's name is "Wahoo!" (ok, I added the exclamation point...how does Trek not automatically give it an exclamation point?).

I’m excited to go on my first ride (hopefully this weekend, if the weather cooperates), and I’ll be sure to let you know all the silly thoughts and reactions that my overactive brain conjured up during it.
Thanks for reading!


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