Like the Johnny Carson/Ed Ames tomahawk throw, this yearly story never fails to get a response.
Today is the 5th anniversary of my bicycle purchase. I had been considering it for a long time, shopping at the big box discount stores and the big box sporting goods store. I saw a model I liked at a price I liked at the big chain sporting goods store. Unfortunately, customer service was lousy and I walked out.
A few days later, I headed to a well known local bicycle shop. I knew I'd pay a little more, but I'd rather do it right, and get the bike at a place that is also known for its service.
I walked in, told the employee what I was looking for and what I intended to do with it-- nothing hard core, just a little tooling around town at a leisurely pace. He wheeled out a model I could live with. Minutes later, and a credit card swipe later, it was in the back of my SUV.
On the way home, I stopped for one of my favorite late lunches-- Whopper, no mayonnaise, fries, diet Coke.
When I got home, I took the bike out of the back of the SUV, and wasted no time taking it for a shake down cruise.
Remember, this was the last Thursday before Labor Day 2012, a blazingly hot and humid day.
I took off like I was Lance Armstrong, or I was 14 years old again. I went three blocks away from home, and three blocks back. I got home, sweating profusely, a little dizzy, major nausea. I leaned the bike against the house, staggered inside, headed for the bathroom, stuck my head in the toilet, and lost my lunch. As I was on my back, on the bathroom floor, I wondered what I had done. I knew I was out of shape. The degree of that was alarming. Plus, I'm no kid. Too much, too fast. Imagine the worst flu you've ever had in your life. Multiply it by ten. Instead of chills, you're sweating out all the fluid left in your body after the vomit. I can laugh about it now. Five years ago, it was frightening.
I eventually got it figured out, riding during the cooler nighttime hours, going every night, extending the ride a little longer every week. I settled on a rather nice route-- just enough for a good work out, and a good sweat without passing out.
As I've said before, if you're considering getting a bike, go for it. It's great fun. I don't ride with a radio or music. It's "me" time, a chance to be alone with my thoughts. Well, I'm not really alone. My route is filled with stray cats, skunks, and bunnies.
Yes, it's not as interesting and fun as the tomahawk to the crotch on the Carson show, but it's the best I can do.