The title may be slightly misleading. Sometime around '83 or so a girlfriend and I rode a tandem single speed around Saledo, Texas. But I don't count it.
I got a bicycle for Christmas. This is an effort to become more fit and get some much needed exercise. Christmas day it snowed here and I wasn't going to get out in the wet/snow not having ridden in so many years. Today it was cold this morning but by 2 p.m., when I had finished some home repairs, it was about 40f. While going to the hardware store I had come back by a park with a MUP and I saw that it was dry. The sun was shining so I decided I would break in the new bike today....hopefully without breaking anything else.
I chose to ride in my street attire....because I have more of it than anything else and I am basically lazy. My darling bride took my picture before I left.
And as I rode off:
I rode to a MUP a few blocks from my home. It is only about .4 mile around it. Because of the design I have to cut across some grass to make a loop.....or make an impossibly sharp left turn. I got on it and rode a couple of loops. At less than a mile the top of my thighs were burning. It had been my immediate goal to do at least five miles. I was now thinking "no way." But being the stubborn old man I'm noted for being, after a couple of loops I decided to go to another park, not far from that location, where there is a MUP of .84 miles. I rode on the street to that location since there was very little traffic out. After doing a little more than a loop and a half I found an exit to a residential area that I had been looking for so I took it and it put me on a street which crosses a major intersection and becomes the street I live on. I took it to the intersection, no traffic, so I rode that four lane back to the original MUP and rode it for one and a half loops, exiting to an alley and on to a street which intersected with mine. Over to my alley and up my driveway and I was home at slightly over 5.1 miles.
I am going to wear that padded underwear or the padded shorts. Otherwise things tend to bunch up and get a little uncomfortable.
I can do five miles if I put my mind to it. I'm no speed demon (noticed most of the time I ran between 7 and 12 MPH depending on what gear I was in....most of the time was 9 to 10 MPH).
Using the various gears and hand brakes wasn't that hard. I am rough and need practice (never used them before except for a short period as a child when I had a three speed and it was not very good). I did notice that the bike was very sensitive to the slightest incline. And when I was choosing the right gear combination my thighs quit burning. I spent most of my time on the number 2 on the crank and 3-6 on the rear....did go to 1 on the crank and 2-4 on the rear on some mild inclines. Never hit the highest or lowest gear.
I also learned I am not good at drinking while riding, in fact I need both hands on the handlebars. But I also learned that I can get better and I will.
I also learned that I enjoyed the ride. So I want to thank all of you who encouraged me and gave me advice. By moderating my eating habits I have lost over ten pounds in the last month and I expect that will improve by the time I see my doctor again in February.
I wish each of you a safe and happy new year.