10 Awesome Fall Bike Rides
My Bike Riding Journey
I enjoyed reading about these bike rides and hope you do, too! It got me thinking about how much I enjoy riding a bike, how far I’ve come since I was given my first bike for my 7th birthday and when I was given a bike (again for a birthday) when we relocated to the Lowcountry (I described this experience in my post Relocate. Reinvent. Reroot. Rebloom. Relax!). I am reminded how much farther, not only in miles, but in courage, I must venture.
By all account I am a late blooming cycling enthusiast. In my mind there is a difference between riding a bike and cycling. Maybe it has to do with the type of equipment? For the past 16 years I have been very satisfied riding my “Lowcountry” style cruiser – fat tires, one speed (slow) with pedal brakes – adorned with a wicker basket and handle bar bell. Aside from being quite adorable, it served my need for recreational rides with friends around the neighborhood.
That is, until I decided it was time to get in shape and I felt a greater need for distance and speed! This was when I began to long for a new “big-girl” bicycle. I wanted a bicycle that performed and looked good doing so! I would have to wait. I rode the cruiser almost everyday for two years. It served me well and I feel positive helped me achieve my weight loss goal. This cruiser also helped to prepare me to compete and complete two sprint triathlons. I swam, rode and ran/walked across the finish line to earn the medals to prove this isn’t a fish-tale!
After each triathlon I continued to ride the cruiser. Still longing for the “big-girl” bike. And then the stars aligned!
Remember when I wrote about my Desert Adventure birthday day trip this year to Tucson? Well, during this trip our friends D and J rode their very, very professional style bikes every day training for a 100 mile race. While I don’t have that kind of cycling in me, seeing them have so much fun and get such great exercise ignited the “I want a big-girl bike” voice in my head!
A Big-Girl Bike for My Birthday
I was determined to get a new bike and get one right away. My husband agreed this would be a perfect birthday gift. It has just occurred to me that I have a birthday + bicycle trend going on!
I learned some things from my friends that helped me to shop the market. Things like the brands, type of gears, size and weight of the bike, clips or no clips (I decided definitely no clips!) just to name a few things. Also, I realized that I did not have to purchase a brand new bike to get that big-girl experience. Like cars, cycling enthusiasts are constantly upgrading to the next newest model. Who knew?
It was all too easy. I visited the website for The Bluffton Bike Shop (blufftonbicycleshop.com) near my home and searched the used and consignment pages and found the bike that had been waiting just for me! Last May, when we returned from Tucson, I purchased a 2014 Giant Avail 5 (made especially for women) from someone who put it on consignment. It was practically brand new and half the cost of a new bike. Best of all, included in the price, Bluffton Bike Shop made sure it was in perfect condition. I added the turquoise handle wrap (to match the frame, of course!). Bicycle can be a fashion statement! I also purchased a tire pump. These big-girl bikes don’t use your plain run of the mill bike pumps.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this new cycling experience! I love changing gears. Did I tell you my new ride has 10 gears? Oh the possibilities! I am working up my courage to take the bike onto the open road. There are many Lowcountry roadways to explore. First, I have to learn to change a bicycle tire. Then it might be fun to join a cycling group. And then there is the matter of the attire! For me, the 10 Awesome Fall Bike Rides will likely have to wait until next year! Hey you South Carolina readers, check out the Greenville, SC trip!
10 Awesome Fall Bike Rides