I just spent the weekend with my 10 year old granddaugher, up in VA. She was riding her bike and I noticed she needs a new one. I also know she is going thru a rough patch with her parents and she is needing more and more time with grandma. One of my dreams has always been a 35 mile ride on the Rails to Trails paths up in Michigan but I don't live in MI anymore. I found a beautiful bike trail up in VA along the James River. I have been after my sister for 5 years to commit to a bike ride with me but she would always laugh at me. So, I asked my granddaughter if she would like to ride bikes on some bike trails this summer with me. She looked at me and quietly asked me if I even knew how to ride a bike. OH what that child did not know. She didn't know her grandma use to ride a bike instead of driving the 2 miles into town, when her oldest uncle was a baby. I had a wonderful baby carrier that fit right on the bike. She didn't know her grandfather and I use to make after-work dates and flexed our time so we could ride 8-10 miles around a city on the bike paths during summer time when her dad was a small child. She didn't know the only reason we gave up biking around was because our bikes were strictly street bikes and didn't handle country roads and shoulders well. She didn't know the last time I road a bike was 11 years ago however, the bike was NOT a good fit for me. I got confused over the 18 gears and that dang seat was so uncomfortable that I never wanted to ride again. After a 5 mile ride, I put the bike away and never touched it again until I moved 8 years ago.
Well, my granddaughter right at the moment is committed to seeing grandma ride a bike. We took a drive yesterday and visited my sister who has agreed to go with us on the trip along the James River, this fall. In the meantime, I need to get back into shape and build my biking ability. We went out and I found a bike that is very comfortable for me. My granddaughter is excited because she had input in what I bought and thought she was teaching me all the equipment I needed for safety. When we got back to my granddaughter's house, a friend of the family shared some tips with me to make riding even more comfortable, based on her lastest 35 mile ride. This morning, my granddaughter actualy got out of bed early, after telling me last night, going for a ride at 9AM was too early. Well, we were on the Dismal Swamp Chanel at 8 AM. It took me 1/4 mile to get the back derailleur down to 3rd gear. When we stopped so I could read a historical sign, my legs were like jelly. We pushed on to the 1/2 mile marker and I felt a little better. I'm sure hoping that was from the gears being set too high. I didn't push it so we turned around and went back to the car. I know I made some big mistakes and it won't happen again. The biggest thing we did was leave the house without any water. The humidity was way too high for any sort of exertion without extra water. If we would have waited even another hour, the humidity would have dropped.
I didn't think I was that "out of shape" but obviously, skipping the fitness center for the past 4 months was not a good thing. I know I need to build up my endurance and I can ride in the evenings. My bike travels very well on my car since I just drove 130 miles from VA back to NC. I'm gonna be bringing my granddaughter down for a few days mid to late June. I'm hoping to find a nice safe bike trail for us to ride together. I'm open for suggestions on how to build my endurance and how to find nice safe trails. There is no way I'm gonna be comfortable enough to do alot of inclines and declines at the moment.
Just another nutty grandma