Adventure: It’s a Bike!

Okay ladies and gents, I have some great news. Are you ready?

I bought a bike.

I know, that news seems pretty anti-climactic really. Especially after telling you guys how I totally lost my mind (or found it, either way) and went Democrat this fall. Compared to that, buying a bike may not sound like all that much.

You see it’s like this. I own a five speed and I hate it. You have to pedal like crazy just to get it to change gears. It can’t handle hills, it hurts my back and I can’t keep up with my friends when we ride the river.

Why do I own a five speed that I hate? Because my husband insisted I get a different bike, and I was in a mood that day. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a man or he’s the primary bread-winner and I feel… well I don’t know how I feel. I just know that  the more he insisted I’d hate it, the more deeply my stubborn heels dug into the concrete and linoleum floors of Wal-Mart.

Who buys their bikes at Wal-Mart?

We do. Or rather we did. We purchased four bikes that day and he didn’t want to go broke doing it.

Like a lot of married couples I know where one partner works outside of the home and the other inside the home, there are at times power struggles. We were eyeball deep in just such a struggle the day we purchased my nasty bike.

My husband chose the store and the price he wanted to spend. He’s the breadwinner and I was in a… well let me just say a bad place in regards to how we handle things financial in our home. So when he picked out my bike, I balked and walked over to this really pretty dark blue five speed. The more he insisted I get the bike he picked out, the deeper my heels dug into the concrete and linoleum floors.

Home she came.

One ride up and down the moderate hills of our bike trails in Tulsa and I knew he was right. I hated it. Did I tell him that? Nope.

That was four years ago and yes, I’ve ridden a bike that I hate for four whole years because I am not about to tell him he’s right.

Now, I have a dilemma.  I’m trying to lose weight  and I have a bad ankle from a childhood injury that makes running, walking, and anything aerobic really very painful. Cycling, is my best option.

A lot of my friends ride. Some of my friends even compete. They are a wealth of wisdom. This time, I didn’t take my husband shopping with me.  Applause for stepping out of my normally timid, hugely co-dependant/male-dependant butt would be appropriate here. Really, I won’t mind.

This time, I did the research and picked out a bike I knew I would enjoy, be able to ride and could afford.
20111114-073911.jpgFor starters, I didn’t go to Wal-Mart. I went to Tom’s Bicycles in Tulsa. Tom’s is locally owned and operated. If you want to save jobs in America support locally owned stores. Toms has two stores in Tulsa, one on 68th and Peoria and one in the heart of MidTown on 15th (Cherry Street). I know nothing about bicycles and their staff helped me make the best choice for me. You can click the photo of the water bottle above to learn more about Toms.

20111114-073855.jpgThis is the bike Jenny helped me pick out. It’s a Giant Brand and is just my size. I’m only 5’4′ and I did not know bikes came in small, medium and large. This is the first size small I’ve had in years. This dieting thing is working already. I love this bike. It has 18 speeds. The bottom nine are on the right handle and the upper nine are on the left. I can changed gears up or down with a simple click of a switch.

This is a street bike. It’s not a blend or mountain bike. The tires are thin and oddly bare. I didn’t expect that. Not sure how it’ll handle on wet roads, but I’ll find out.

 Click on the photo above if you want to more about Giant Brand Bicycles.

Now, this bike does have one slightly annoying quirk. It likes to throw me off.

20111114-073814.jpgThey say that once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. “They” have never met the likes of me with a new bike and toe straps. See this photo? That little bugger held my left foot hostage five minutes into my maiden voyage and I crashed right in front of my house. I have gravel in my hand and elbow and my left thigh and right breast are deeply bruised by the handle bars. But you know what, I got back on and only crashed one other time.

Toms is closed on Mondays, but come Tuesday, the straps come off the pedals and I head back to Toms for gloves and a helmet. I’m thinking that’s probably wise. Don’t you?

So there you have it. I Deana, researched and purchased my very first street bike.

Let the adventure begin.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. November 14, 2011. All rights reserved.

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