Roll-On . . . Week 1
You can’t do this!
Are you crazy??
Mom, you suck at exercise. Plus, you’re old! These were a few comments I heard from my family when I announced I was going ride in the Healing Garden’s 2020 QuaranTEAM Challenge (a virtual 66-mile ride Register HERE). They might have a point. I haven’t been on a bike since last September. I’m old and daily yoga isn’t really aerobic. However, I’m a person who enjoys challenges and works harder when faced with a challenge. This bike ride would certainly be a challenge!!
If you’re going to bike 66 miles, you need a bike. I have a bike. While it’s old, it works. Last year, however, I forgot to put it in the garage—it was outside all winter. What was I thinking? My bike was a mess of rust!
Next step: buy a bike.
Little did I know that when COVID hit, Americans began looking for safe ways to exercise. Of course, they turned to bicycles. Bicycles at the big box stores like Walmart have been sold out for months. The small, specialized bikes stores can’t keep up with the demand either. Bicycle industry experts say bicycle sales have increased by 200% this year, which is greater than any time since the oil crisis of the 1970s. What has exacerbated the problem is that 90% of the bikes sold in the United States come from China. This fact, along with Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese products, led Chinese bike manufacturers to slow down production.
OK—maybe I can figure out what I want before I go searching. Being clueless about bikes, I asked a friend who regularly races and rides. I never realized the multitude of options.
First, there are bikes at every price point—from $200 to $5000 and up. Second, bikes are no longer just bikes. There are hybrids (you can ride on the roads as well as on dirt trails)—hybrids have lots of gears so you can ride up steep hills. Then, there are mountain bikes, which you can ride both on the road and off. Of course, there are racing bikes in which the emphasis is on speed. (Clearly not what I’m looking for—I just want to survive.) The list goes on—cruiser bikes, road bikes, commuter bikes.
In the meantime, I advertise in the local paper, talk to friends, and even ask strangers where I can get a bike. Eventually, a friend takes pity on me and says I can borrow one of her bikes. I just need to get it tuned up. The local bike store is busy, but the owner says he can have the bike for me in 10 days. I turn to my trainer (who has been riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge for years) she suggests that until I get my bike tuned up, I should start training by riding the club Peloton 3-times a week for an hour. She also gives me a set of exercises for strengthening my core.