A few weeks ago I walked into Outspokin Bicycles. It had been ages since I’d been in there, maybe a couple of years. The last time I talked with the owner, Brian Curran, it was over email asking if he’d buy the mountain bike back from me because I was too hurt to ride it. He was kind enough to take it back, but I was too hurt to bring it back.
This time I had a different purpose. I had an itch to scratch. I looked around for Brian, and then out from the office I see him, all kitted up, ready to ride. He spotted me immediately, and the first thing he said was, “you need to start your blog back up.” Maybe not a bad idea.
For longtime readers of this website, it has been a journey. It wasn’t lost on me that yesterday was The Assault on Mount Mitchell, a race that I haven’t completed in several years, and the last time I had a broken hip and grunted my way up the mountain. Every year I miss it. And every year I wonder whether I can ever do it again.
For a long while I thought my riding days were done. The doctor said it was safe, but after all that I had endured, no thanks.
Then we bought a house downtown. The biggest barrier (okay, excuse) was that we had bought a new car without a bike rack. We lived out in the suburbs and my bikes had fallen in disrepair. I’ve always been able to ride them; never been able to fix them. So they sat. When we moved, the idea of doing some easy rides crossed my mind and I kept the bikes downstairs … just in case.
By coincidence, Cola Town Bike Collective also moved downtown. Amazingly enough, they are in the same neighborhood and within walking distance. One morning I walked my bike up to them, and they enthusiastically got it tuned up and ready to ride. That was the first day I put foot to pedal in years and found my hip to be a little tight on the 1.5 mile ride home, but it felt good. It was like a muscle that hadn’t been stretched in a long time.
Not to mention, this was the first time I’d ridden the mountain bike after the painful maiden voyage. That was almost six years ago?
Another coincidence is that my neighbor and former co-worker, Debbie, lives just a few houses down. She used to be one of my riding buddies. She’s retired and still rides regularly.
In the last few weeks I’ve gradually taken a couple of spins. My neighborhood has a casual Monday night ride where they ride urban roads and drink beer afterward. The pace is slow enough that I can keep up on my mountain bike, and the beer still tastes better after a few miles. The above picture is us after yesterday’s ride enjoying some beverages.
To my surprise, I found that I have a little bit of fitness and can even spin a little bit up hills. Overall I’ve ridden only 40 miles in 2019, hardly anything, but I already had some base fitness from other activities. The summer heat is out, but I live in a great location for easy riding, and I’ll keep hitting the pavement.
I’m also eyeing that road bike and thinking it needs to be tuned up soon.
May 21st, 2019 at 9:53 pm
There is no one more happy than me that you are writing again. You inspired me to ride terrain that fat guys avoided like a salad bar. Then for a nanosecond I wrote about it. Noe I’m writing about a different type of journey. I hope you will read along.
May 26th, 2019 at 10:10 am
Hey Wade, good to hear from you. I took a look at your website and I wish you were on a different type of journey. Trying to figure out how to get email notifications so I can keep tabs. I’ll be posting here periodically but not at the volume I did before. Praying for you, my friend.
May 21st, 2019 at 10:21 pm
Great you’re back!! Take it easy and work your way back. No need for the hills, which I guess are bad on the hips unless you can spin quickly. The heat’s not bad when you’re moving. Keep it up. John Michos
May 26th, 2019 at 10:12 am
Good advice, John! I love the hills but when I’m not fit, I hate the hills, so there’s some built in moderation there. The doctor said that I’m fine to climb mountains but you are right that I’ll probably need to spin a lot. Might even need to adjust my gearing. Hope you are well!
May 22nd, 2019 at 1:38 pm
Glad I kept this blog bookmarked, Aaron! Happy you are back and I await your inevitable trip to southern France, so I can show you some of the best roads you could imagine riding 😉
May 26th, 2019 at 10:12 am
One day it’ll happen, my friend. I hear there are some nice beverages there as well.
May 26th, 2019 at 11:17 am
A few, yes!
September 3rd, 2019 at 9:37 am
Aaron! this is awesome. I retreated back to your blog to do some recon for the upcoming Tour de Cashiers 100 which is this week. I am participating for the first time since a DNF that was at the beginning of my cycling in 2012.
I am overjoyed to see you healthy (first) and falling back in love with the bike (second). You have been missed. hope to see you again soon!