Like Riding My Bike

What better way is there to get some semi-exercise and create a bit of breeze for yourself on a hot day than to cruise around on your bike?

Running is far too labor-intensive, and I have this weird thing where I like being able to breathe. Plus it’s hard to carry your water when you run, it sloshes and throws its weight around in your hand like a Shake Weight, it’s distracting. And anyone who runs fewer than 3 miles like me (actual mileage: less than 1 mile) should not put on one of those water bottle-holster-fanny-pack things. That just screams “poser”.

bike ride to breakfast

Bayshore bike ride to breakfast

My fiancé and I went on a ride to breakfast the other morning and I loved every minute of it. Riding my bike to a restaurant is one of my favorite things to do ever. Maybe because it makes me feel like I can eat whatever I want since I burned a few calories on the way there.

I wish that Tampa was more bike friendly because even though the rule is “share the road”, I don’t believe that the car drivers are really feeling the “sharing is caring” vibe. I can feel their annoyance emanating from their cars. Still I think it’s a great mode of transportation (as long as it is not your forced mode of transportation because you got too many DUI’s–I imagine it loses some of its charm at that point.)

Callie's first ride

Callie’s first ride without training wheels

I taught my daughter to ride her bike without training wheels a couple of years ago. That was an exciting day. It was great to run along with her and watch her “get it” and start to shakily pedal away on her own.

It was less fun when, frustrated from falling several times in a row, she accused me of pushing her down. Gasping to catch my breath from running beside her while trying to capture the moment on camera and keep her upright all at the the same time, I thought, Seriously? If I was trying to push you down you’d know it. (just kidding, of course)

A neighbor kid taught me how to ride a bike. I don’t know why he taught me instead of my parents. Probably I had accused them of deliberately knocking me to the ground and they gave up. Apparently it’s a sad vicious cycle in our family. 😉

Learning to ride

Learning to ride without training wheels

My first “real” bike was a yellow ten speed. I thought it was awesome with its curvy handles and all those gears that I didn’t really know how to use (still don’t). Those skinny ten-speed wheels got the best of me though when I took a sharp turn into my friend’s pebble driveway. I wiped out and skinned up my knuckles. Luckily I was most likely wearing some sweet Lee® jeans to protect my legs from harm.

My yellow bike

My first ten-speed. Big Yella’

Fairly often our whole family (grandparents, siblings and our kids) will mount up on our bikes and ride over to one of our favorite restaurants where we can dine outside near the water. This trip is under a mile yet takes at the very least 30 minutes with all of our inexperienced riders to corral. It’s actually quite a workout trying to keep your bike upright while barely moving forward. Try it sometime!

Family bike ride

Some of the Wests go for a ride (slowly)

But that’s the kind of riding I like. Eaaasssy does it. My fiancé is actually a cycling coach and logs insane amounts of time on his bike. This weekend he rode 85 miles on Saturday and 65 miles on Monday. My privates hurt just thinking about that.

His cycling friends often ask if I ride. Yeah man, I totally ride. I have a cute green Townie cruiser. Top speed of about 11 miles an hour, no more than 10 miles at a time…ever.  You could say we have different philosophies on what constitutes a bike ride.

my Townie crusier

She’s a beaut!

But we can always agree on a nice, slow bike ride to breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. That is where we meet in the middle.


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