I Have a Bike! Finally!

I love it, I love it, I love it. After many months of saying how much I wanted a bike, I finally went out yesterday and made the purchase.

It’s a Trek 7300.

New Bike!

It’s currently sitting in my living room because I forgot to buy a lock. (Whoopsie!) Luckily we have access to a storage room in the basement of a nearby building that was specifically built to hold bikes — the room has two bike racks inside, and you also have to have a key to get in the room itself. So I’ll be keeping it there once I get a lock.

Do you want to know the crazy part? What it was that kept me from making the bike-purchase for so long? I may have noticed an increase in my personal self-confidence, but I still have a huge fear of Looking Stupid (this is why my fear of public speaking — or being grilled in an interview — isn’t likely to ever get any better). My fear was that I’d walk into a bike shop, not having been on a bike in almost four years (since I studied abroad in the Netherlands; a time that included a drunken bike accident), and I would Look Stupid. Because, you know, there’s all these professional bike riders in there, and they know what they’re doing, and I don’t.

I’d already scheduled the day off work yesterday, so I decided part of the day would be dedicated to bike shopping. I did feel better about going in the middle of the week, rather than on the weekend when the shop would likely be more busy. I figured if I was going to look stupid, I’d at least do it with less people around.

And of course I had nothing to worry about. All the guys in there were extremely helpful. I’d looked at some bikes on the internet in advance that I thought I might be interested in, so I had a few models to throw out once I walked in. They picked out three different types and had me ride them around the parking lot, and I chose the one I liked best (after consulting with them to make sure it would fit my needs).

The guy I was dealing with most of the time explained how to use the different gears, and showed me how to take the front tire off (it looks pretty simple). I bought a helmet, and he took the time to adjust all the straps for me to make sure I got an exact fit. (It fits more snugly than I would have done it, so I guess it’s a good thing I bought it there and not from somewhere else!)

I also bought a bike rack that fits on the trunk of my car and holds two bikes. He showed me how to put that on as well. So far I’ve taken the bike off the rack and successfully removed the rack from my car — but I haven’t tried putting it back on yet. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon. (I don’t want my bike coming loose as I’m driving down the highway!) My sister Elissa bought a bike not long ago, and I’m planning a trip to Richmond over July 4th weekend, so I think that will be the perfect time to strap the bike back on my car.

I did take the bike for a spin yesterday as soon as I got it off the car. I was planning to ride it around the neighborhood, but before I knew it I’d been riding for over 45 minutes and I’d gone a lot farther than I’d planned.

I felt like a little kid! I was having such a good time. I would even describe my temperament as…giddy.

I had to stay inside for a few hours that afternoon to wait for a plumber (kitchen sink issues! gah!). But I went for another ride as soon as he left, and I was out that time for over an hour. I ended up (accidentally) finding an entrance to the Mount Vernon Trail, which, now that I’ve found it, I’m sure I’ll be using it often.

I have a bike! Yay!

(This also fulfills #65 on my 101 Things list: Purchase a bicycle.)

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