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.