Hi friends! Today I’m going to talk about my favorite new exercise: road biking! I have wanted a road bike for a looooong time. Because of the price, I kept deferring to “maybe next year”. Drew and I had a busy 2014 (we became husband and wife + bought a house + I started my first nursing job), finally things have started to settle down. Together we’ve been working hard on paying off debt + saving money. This year we decided that each of us could invest in some items that we had both been patiently waiting for: for me a road bike and for Drew new golf clubs!
Months before this big purchase, I started researching road bikes. As a beginner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information. That’s why after some independent research and asking friends, I decided to go to several bike shops to peruse the options and to test drive different brands. This also gave me an opportunity to ask the experts! I went to Erik’s Bike Shop, Wana Bike, Budget Bicycle Center, and Trek Bicycle Store. I have to say, I was super impressed with the customer service I had at each place. I interacted with knowledgeable people that were willing to start to teach me the ropes. After a couple months, I finally pulled the trigger at the Madison Bike Expo.
On my first ride I felt like bambi learning to walk. The saying “it’s just like riding a bike”, doesn’t exactly apply. Sure it is easy enough to peddle, but I was dealing with a lighter weight bike than I was used to, gears that I wasn’t exactly sure how to use, a different type of handlebars, and busy/dangerous roads. On my first ride I decided to bike to meet Drew for lunch. It was 12.5 miles each way. It’s safe to say I get a tad ambitious sometimes (probably would’ve been smarter to do a shorter ride around my neighborhood to get used to the bike). Overall, it went well and I survived…but, I definitely felt like a rookie when I had to walk up a hill due to poor gear shifting + get directions back home from a nice man (I took a different route on the way back and he knew I could use a tip since I had my phone out at an intersection trying to make sure I was going the right way). 🙂
Fast-forward to yesterday. After church, Drew and I went back to my hometown to have Easter dinner with my family. My good friend Kelly had the same plan. We decided to meet up and go on a bike ride. Kelly and her dad Tom have a lot more experience in the road bike department. They have done the MS 150 mile bike ride for several years + other triathlons and events.
They both agreed to give me tips. It was SO helpful. First Tom gave me a lesson in making sure my bike tires were full and how to store my bike.
Next we hit the open road. Tom hung right by my side at first and taught me the proper way to shift gears + when to do it. The course we took was perfect for a lesson in shifting because it had flats, rolling hills, and pretty big hills. Both Kel and Tom gave me countless safety tips and emphasized how dangerous road biking is. Point taken! During the ride Kel and I talked about how amazing it was because on a bike you can get really far and see a lot, nothing like the wind on your face and awesome views. Thanks again to the Magnus crew for the ride and tips, I cannot wait for more together.
My point here is that it is more than okay to be a beginner! Don’t be afraid to try something new. I’m so glad I finally jumped in and purchased a bike. I’m still learning, but I’m asking advice and gaining confidence. It was really great to go with two people that I’m super comfortable with. I wasn’t embarrassed to pepper them with questions.
I hope everyone has an incredible week! I know here in Madison we are beyond excited to watch our Badgers in the National Championship tonight. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So excited.