Thursday, July 6, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Cycling...An Experience: Part 2

Celebrating the opportunity to have a family by God's design! #RitaHutchesonCobbs

Getting a bike was something I never thought I would consider. When I was actually making the purchase, I was thankful to have someone like my amazing friend Tim to walk me through the process all the way to hitting the final button to order. Then he was gracious enough to put it together and tell me exactly what to get to maintain my bike and to have with me when I was on the road.

When you are purchasing a bike, do you homework both physically and professionally. By personal homework, I mean not only see your doctor anytime you are about to start a new workout program to make sure that your health is in order. Then personally make sure you have some interest in the activity you are about to do. For me, I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up or what activity I want to settle on, so I am trying a multiple of things. Cycling is a piece to a puzzle that will fit my ultimate goal. By professional, which might not be the best word, I mean, search online for various bikes, ready cycling magazines, book and visit cycle shops to see the variety of opportunities. Your bottom is going to be sitting on something for miles, do you want to sit at a job you may hate for a very long time and have just invested a lot of money in an education your are going stick in the closet. Sorry it's the best I could think of while writing...

Now, when getting a bike the obvious is important, gender, height, weight...bikes fit your body. Then you have to consider street, road, off the road to handles and style. What do you want to do with the bike? Do you want to be seen or see to be? I have a sweet friend who bought a cute basket green bike to just ride...little did she know that she would find herself getting into mountain biking, camera attached to the handles and riding on trails that are clearly marked off limits. ((SMH)) 

Tips on buying a bike:

* Budget: Think about how much you want to spend. Start saving now. Make you an envelope and add money to it as you are looking. That way you are not settling for just any bike or equipment. You are going to need to purchase more than just a bike. You are going to need helmet (some places it is law), air pump, metric tools (or what fits your bike), lights, special things that you may want.

* Try a lot of bikes out: Do you want to cruise, ride mountain trails, race down the street, get the kids active, spend time with the family, impress the pretty lady at work, volunteer with Special Olympic (MEMEME)...regardless, your reason, you have to try bikes. Professional bike shops is the best place to go. Where I live I had to drive to bigger cities to do that. It was worth it. I also had to learn the power of saying, "No." I was a novice, I could just settle.

* Size of the bike: I had no idea the importance of this until the website I was ordering my bike from asked me all these questions. Tim explained to me that comfort is the goal of riding. You are going to be in the "saddle" for a long time not only in one setting but for years to come. You want to be fitted for the bike as well as shoes, handles and seat. Measure, measure and measure. If you don't feel comfortable on the road, go back to the shop. They work well with their customers because they want you to return.

* Consider other equipment and the expense: You will need or may want, like I mentioned, helmet, an air pump for your bike, patch kit, possible gel seat cover (just saying), saddle bag, clips, shoes, gloves, gorgeous/handsome outfit (smiling), watch, map, cell phone holder, lock, sunscreen, snacks, first-aid kit, water bottle/holder. The list can be vast. Where to put it all? There are various attachments, but the items are small and many people take a small backpack cycling. There are great padded shorts too. Make sure clothing is dry-wick. 

I recommend, once again, that you search books, magazines, websites for in-depth material on what to expect when it comes to buying a bike, taking up cycling and preparing for your first outing. There are specialty shops that offer classes. Our local running shop has a Triathlon training class as well. Basics are important and give you an idea of what to expect. This is the road you traveled when you were a kid. Cycling is serious and it is important to be safe. 

For automobiles, runners and cyclist...
Repect for each other goes a long way in traveling this life together in harmony...
Love one another and do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
~ Jesus, the Bible

Hugs, Rita

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