I might as well introduce myself, even though I only just registered. I think I'm going to need help. My name is Cynthia, I'm definitely Athena sized at 5'7" and around 226 pounds! I'm married... and my husband is now slightly jealous because I am getting a bike!
You see, I won a bike in a blog contest from the Lipton Tea company, a Fuji Crosstown 2.0 and it is arriving next week according to the tracking number I was sent!
And I am CLUELESS. I'm not sure if this is a road bike, a comfort bike or some kind of hybrid. It looks nice and is fancier than any bike I've ever owned. I don't know if this new bike will even fit me, but I'm hopeful.
Seriously, I haven't been on a bike in over 30 years. I'm 51 now. And I'm a lot heavier than I was. Worse... I live on a steep hill and I'm kind of scared of the idea of riding a bike again, at least in this neighborhood. It's all hills. I'm not even sure I'm capable of pedaling up if I was daring enough to ride down. You see, when I was in high school, I messed up the cartilage in my right knee in a bike accident. Now, it's been mostly OK, except it seems to be getting worse since I turned 50. It's harder to do things like go down stairs, etc...
So I don't want to injure myself, but I really LIKE the idea of riding again. I enjoyed it when I was a kid. I've got plantar fasciitis, so walking is not such a great activity for me at present and it seems that most weight bearing activities aggravate my feet, so maybe biking is the way to go. But I'm kind of scared of traffic. The roads aren't always so good in my town, and often narrow. And the idea of riding on the highways is also scary. Yeah, I'm a worrywart.
There is a local bike club and I just registered on their forum, but I don't feel like I am going to be up to the kind of rides they do for a while yet. The shortest is like 25 miles!
At any rate, I'm not sure where to start! I don't think I even know how to properly get on the thing. Or how to shift it. Or even what gear you should use for uphill or downhill or level roads. I'm hoping my local bike shop (there is only one) can help with those questions. I already asked them if they will assemble the bike and they will for a very modest $25.
I know I will need a bicycle helmet... are there other items I might need for safety? Or any accessories that are considered useful? Any tips? Fun stories from other 50+ Athena newbie riders?