Town Bike

I finally picked up my bike!!!! Woohoo! I have wheels.

I’ve been a bit of a chicken about it because I planned to do it before my friend’s went overseas so I thought I could con them into riding with me, but shit happened and they’ve gone. I’ve been a total sooky la la about picking it up and riding the 6 km home alone, but then I realised if they get back and I haven’t picked it up, they’d give me so much shit.

I walked over – 6 km, got the bike and my friend’s dad (who’s been conned into building them a new laundry while they are in Paris, nice work there) pumped up the tyres. I got on then got off, feeling really insecure. The thought of wheeling it down to the train station and catching the train home was sooooo tempting, then I told myself if I couldn’t ride the bike home, I couldn’t have a bike.

I wheeled it a ways, they live in an area with lots of trucks… then got on the bike path and rode a tiny bit, then got off and wheeled it over the big overpass. I did a mix of riding and wheeling between Flemington Rd and Royal Park – it’s very hilly. I thought I’d struggle with the uphills but ended up being fine, it’s the downhills that scare me. Just to get this straight, I even freak in spin class unless I have a lot of resistance on the bikes so if you translate that to situation where speed = falls = broken bones, you can imagine my girlie wimpiness.

Once I got to Princes Park, it was all very flat and easy. Except for stopping. I think the bike seat is too high cos I couldn’t put my foot on the ground without getting insanely painful cramps in the arches of my feet and sometimes my calves plus the real danger of being anally raped by the bike seat. Any hints on bike adjustments?

I was wonky and scared and had the breaks on most of the time but I made it home in one piece even when the stupid skank stopped wheeling her pram in the middle of the bike path and walked in front of me to check on her kid – like she couldn’t get off the path and do that. Must buy a bell cos it didn’t work.

My plan is to ride every day so I get good at it, well confident anyway.

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8 responses to “Town Bike

  1. CaramelKitKat

    When you ride, does that (Beatles??) song “Riding along on my pushbike honey, when I noticed you” come to mind?

    My Dad (a former competitive cyclist, but he’d know, just cos he’s Dad) always said to adjust the seat so that when you’re sitting and the pedal is down with the ball of your foot on it, your knee should be just slightly bent, but your leg will look virtually straight. Did that make any sense?? When pedalling your hips should remain steady, without rocking from side to side to enable your feet to push the pedals all the way down.

  2. Oooh how excitment!!! i agree with CKK’s thingy re seat height, took me ages to find a comfy position but it was pretty much as her dad said!

  3. As a novice bike rider, I feel entirely comfortable commenting about your insecure feelings on the bike. I’ve only been riding a month or so and my confidence has been growing daily. OK – so I’m still not ready to ride on the road, but I’m MUCH more confident on the footpath! My trip home is virtually downhill, and at first I was riding the brakes all the time. Gradually I eased off and only yesterday I noticed that I didn’t brake on one particular section where I had been braking. My speed is still incredibly poor compared to someone like ajh who got up to 70km/h recently. (That’s just silly.) But I try very hard to average about 15km/h. I am still uncomfortable over about 25km/h. When the wind rushes past my face so fast that I need to squint, I know I am in danger-territory. I haven’t got the wobbles up yet, except going really, really slowly uphill. Sometimes it’s just easier to get off! Good luck – we could have a competition to see who is the first to be brave enough to ride on a road!!!!! (I still get off and walk my bike to cross a road just like a little school kid!!)

  4. I agree with the leg slightly bent theory- your spin bike set up would be the same too I think. Happy riding- hope you have a mud guard and a jacket!

  5. ombites (mary)

    WHOOT! The girl has some wheels and will be hooning around town!!

    In regards to the bike seat (and I hope I explain it right), when you’re feet are on the pedals, your straight leg needs to be able to have a bit of a bend in it. If it’s dead straight, your seat is too high. Does that make sense?

    I’m still scared of riding too. Cath and I are doing a community bike course next month though for the know how on how to ride in the City. We don’t have bike paths like Melbourne, god damn and it’s a little scary riding on the road.

    Have you check out Bicycle Victoria? – http://www.bv.com.au/

  6. I had a very bad image when I read the title!!

    Good on you for conquering all these little things that you have wanted to.

  7. I’m learning to ride at the moment too, so I understand exactly what you mean when you say you are insecure. I’m getting off the bike when I have to cross a road, sticking to bike paths and generally wimping out on hills. As for riding the brakes – what would we do without them? Does your bike have gears? I am totally bamboozled by the gears. I have found one I like and I’m sticking to it!

    Good luck with the bike riding. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  8. The others are right about how to set your saddle height. You may not be able to reach the ground while sitting on the saddle with it set up right, but you knees will thank you for it.

    When I slow to a stop I leave one foot on a pedal, and reach down to the ground with the other foot while getting off the saddle – so I don’t stay sitting on the saddle when I stop. That might be easier for you.

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