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Wow, May is over?

So, how did I do?  With a lot of help from the huz, I acquired an Electra Townie bike (my kids picked the color: orange), I shopped for helmets and bike locks with Jennifer, the huz found a cool helmet and cheap bike lock for me, so all of the shopping was strangely accomplished by a man who hates to shop.  Thanks, Huz!

The actual bike riding has been a lot slower.  I’ve toddled around in my backyard several times and almost gotten both feet off the ground, but I probably need to practice in the alley on a flat surface where I can work up a little speed.  Perhaps if I start getting up a little earlier so the alley is deserted and no one can see a grown woman learning to ride her bike, I’ll accomplish this.  Oh, still need to get the handlebars adjusted.  Put it on the list.

As with most of my resolutions, Resolution #5 will be an on-going project.

To be continued . . .

 

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Outfitting and styling

The Huz brought home a surprise for me yesterday.  While cleaning out some department at his university, he found a cache of bike helmets that had been sitting around without homes for years (casualties of a now defunct program).

Here is my son modeling the new helmet.  Notice the freakin’ adorable cherry motif!

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Went to two bike stores today with my daughter and my friend Jennifer.  Jennifer is a bike enthusiast and has a blog about, well, biking.  Anyhoo, Jennifer kindly offered to accompany me to look at helmets and bike locks.  Since I know nothing about riding no bikes.

My daughter in front of a confusing array of helmets

I love that Jennifer introduced me to the sales associates as soon as we entered both stores.  It made me feel important.  The helmets either come in S, M, L (for women, at least; I assume also for men) or universal size, which has a cool dial to adjust the size within the helmet.  I learned a few things from trying on helmets today:

  1. Helmets are expensive!  The cheapest ones are $35 and can go up to $200!  Jeez!
  2. All helmets have the exact same safety features; the difference lies in how comfy they are, how breath-a-ble (in other words how sweaty I want my hair to be).
  3. My hair looks god-awful under a helmet.  Ponytail time.

Confusing array of bike locks

Locks are a bit cheaper: $20-$45.  Jennifer recommended either a U-lock or thick (rather than thin) chain lock.  Reassuringly, she told me if someone wants to steal my bike, they’re going to saw through either of these locks.

Cute Electra wicker basket with adorable liner

The last thing I looked at with any seriousness was the bike baskets. The Electras have baskets that fasten with a mounting bracket to assure alignment.  Just snap the basket on or off and head to the farmer’s market.  Voila!   Wicker baskets run around $45 and  the wire baskets run around $49.  Some of the wicker baskets have cute liners too.  See?

I didn’t make any purchases today.  No money to spend.  But now I know how much I need to save for my trip to the bike shop.  First trip, however, will be to adjust my handlebars back from Harley Mama to Wicked Witch of the West.

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Just found this helpful site that gives good step-by-step advice on learning to ride a bike: http://www.ibike.org/education/teaching-kids.htm

Not that any adults reading this are in the same predicament as am I, but perhaps this will help any parents out there who are in the process of teaching their kid/s how to break free from the shackles of training wheels.  Basically, you need a gentle, grassy slope, a bike, and a helmet.  Tell your child to coast without peddling.  After coasting feels comfortable, add peddling.  Then try it on a flat, grassy surface.  Bring band-aids and hugs.

The shackles

I actually used this method the last time I attempted to get on a bike, but that was 3 years ago and my bike, Murtle, weighed ten metric tons.  It was less than ideal.  Perhaps my seven-year-old and I will hit the gentle slope together, then break for ice cream.

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I’ve been waiting to post this, waiting to find time and waiting to share the news:  my family bought me an Electra for Mother’s Day!!  My husband took the kids to the bike shop on Friday while I was in bed with a migraine and the kids picked the color.  My son was so excited that he couldn’t keep it a secret for long.  That afternoon he told me that they went to the bike shop for my present.  “No, no, no, don’t say any more,” I protested.  “It’s not orange,” he lied.  Nice try, buddy.

My lil' beauty

We still need to take it back to the bike shop to adjust it.  I feel like I’m reaching far to get to the handlebars, but otherwise it’s great.  I now need the following:

  1. A bike helmet
  2. A lock
  3. A basket
  4. Repeated attempts to ride

My seven-year-old daughter is learning to ride without training wheels and she really wants to teach me.  I’m determined to learn before her or I’ll never live it down.

P.S.  For friends who wondered, the seat is down all of the way and my feet hit the ground AND it is a relatively lightweight vehicle.

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So here’s the deal: I cannot ride a bike.  The old adage is wrong, I learned how to ride a bike as a child, I stopped riding a bike when I was a child, I forgot how to ride a bike.  I actually have written a short essay about trying to learn again just a few years ago.  My friend (and avid cyclist) Jennifer attempted to help me.  I have an ancient bike that rates high in coolness, but low in function.  The thing weighs a ton and it’s entirely too big for me.

Enter resolution #5: Learn to ride a bike . . . for realz.  Jennifer has offered to help again, I have my sight set on a bike that looks user-friendly AND has a hip retro look to boot.  I’ll post pictures soon.  First things first, Jennifer and I are going to go visit some bike stores and have a look-see.  We’ll talk to the experts in the shops to find the right bike for me.  Next step, purchase bike (I may have to order it).  I’d like to find an affordable bike.  I have a lot of expenses coming down the pike and don’t need to be blowing a ton on this.  Last step: practice riding.

Why this resolution this month?  It’s National Bike Month, that’s why.

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Just want to check in and see how I’m doing with my first resolution after kissing it goodbye a few weeks ago.  Of course, I wasn’t planning to abandon the resolution; in fact, my goal was to incorporate it into my routine.

Namaste, birthday girl

So how did I do?  Well, not great to be honest.  I would like to get to yoga twice a week, but I’ve slipped to once a week.  Last week, I didn’t go at all.  I blame my hormones.

Notice how my son is NOT following directions

Seriously.  Don’t ask.  I will say that I had a 3-day migraine that prevented me from doing much besides slowly sip a soda and sleep.  Perhaps, if I had made it to yoga, I wouldn’t have had such a humdinger.  Back to the studio tonight, though.  Valentine’s Day corrupted my waistline yet again, so I’m eager to get back to the mats.  Plus, my daughter Fiona had her 7th birthday party yesterday at a yoga studio and it inspired me to see all of those cutie friends of hers doing the tree pose.  Now my 4-year-old son says he loves yoga and wants to do it.  Here are a few photos to share the cuteness:

Fiona and BFF, little yoginis

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