So, I finally got my bike tuned up last week. It stopped raining. And I didn’t have a walking partner this morning, so I got out on my bike this morning (I did actually list “biking” as one of my interests when I set up my LiveJournal account). I did the “easy loop,” which is a 14.52 trip to City Park and back, involving very few hills. It took me 1:08:35, and my average speed for the trip was 12.89…which means I am seriously out of shape!

Last summer, my husband and I became “Serious Bike People.” No, that’s not true…HE became a Serious Bike Person…I spent the entire summer struggling to keep up. What do Serious Bike People do that regular bike people don’t? And where do I fit on the Serious Bike Person spectrum? Here is my list and self evaluation:

1. Serious Bike People outfit themselves with proper biking attire. My husband has it all…the fancy shirt, the padded shorts (more than one pair), the padded gloves. I don’t have the shirt, but I do have the padded shorts and the gloves (which, trust me…whether you’re a Serious Bike Person or not, if you’re planning to spend more than an hour on a bike, investing in these items is a very good idea).

2. Serious Bike People have the biking shoes that clip into the pedals, so they can be “one with the bike” and achieve “maximum pedaling efficiency.” My husband has the bike shoes, and thinks I should get them, too (because I am known to lag behind when we ride up the hills). But I have no desire to “become one” with my bike. It seems to me that if I am in a situation where I have to stop suddenly, I am better off if my bike and I are separate entities. Though I have to admit, my husband, who is, in general, not quite as coordinated as I am, has never wiped out with the shoes…so, in theory, I should be okay. But now that I have said that, there is NO WAY I can get the shoes because I have just jinxed myself.

3. Serious Bike People get cadence computers for their bikes. My husband and I both have them, and I’ll admit it is kind of fun to check my cadence (when I can remember HOW to do it). I am no Lance Armstrong, but except for when I’m on the hills, my cadence isn’t actually too bad.

4. Serious Bike People NEVER coast. Not when they’re going downhill…and not when they’re out for the whole day. Me? I LIKE to coast. Call me lazy, but if I’m already coasting at 15+ mph, what’s the point in pedaling? Unless you’re checking your cadence…

5. Serious Bike People actually LIKE hills. And yes, I do realize that maybe if I had the shoes, I would come to like the hills, too. But I don’t have the shoes; I don’t want the shoes and I don’t like hills. My friend Karen, who is a SERIOUS BIKE PERSON (as opposed to a Serious Bike Person), says that the new Camp Cardinal Road is a GREAT training hill…I glanced up that new road as I coasted by on the relatively flat bike path this morning. I thought to myself, “KAREN, YOU’VE GOT TO BE OUT OF YOUR (expletive deleted, because this is a “family blog”) MIND IF YOU THINK I’M GOING TO BIKE UP THAT HILL!!!!”

6. Serious Bike People keep track of their rides, miles, and speed. I can tell you I put somewhere around 900 miles on my bike last season last season. But I have no record of individual rides, average times or speeds.

7. Serious Bike People go on “Century Rides” (100 miles all in one day) and rides across entire states (i.e. RAGBRAI in Iowa). I would actually like to go on a century ride at some point in my life. And I would actually like to ride RAGBRAI at some point in my life. Kind of like I would really like to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, visit Antarctica and have grandchildren. These are all things I really would like to do…someday. But not necessarily today. (Do I have any hope of doing a century ride or RAGBRAI if I don’t get the fancy biking shoes???)

So…am I a Serious Bike Person? I think I have potential…but I’m not there yet. Will I ever be a Serious Bike Person? Only time will tell…

Serious Bike People

3 thoughts on “Serious Bike People

  • May 2, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    Before kids, when we lived in Coralville, I thought I was going to be a serious bike person. I’ve always loved RAGBRAI. I still want to try it someday–maybe once the kids are old enough to ride too. We lived there the year RAGBRAI stopped in Coralville. It was such a fun time (ah, but that was in my kid-free days when I had time to get crazy with all the “kids” my husband and I worked with!)

    I wish I could remember street names. I used to go on these huge rides by myself along these little country roads. I still have a scar on my leg from one of the spills I took.

    Have fun! Take some pics of your adventures 🙂

    • May 2, 2006 at 6:28 pm

      RAGBRAI’s stopping in Coralville again this year, too!

      So…this scar on your leg is somehow a positive memory for you?

      • May 2, 2006 at 6:37 pm

        Not so much a positive memory as a reminder of how hard I worked. I rode a lot that summer and was in amazing shape.

        I wonder what it will be like this year. I know the business climate has changed since we lived there. Back then, it had a small town feel. Many of the locally-owned businesses put in so much work to make it a successful event. But…that was before the huge mall arrived…


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