Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bicycle Madness . . .

I've got this weird obsession lately. Bikes. Bicycles. Two-wheelers. The ol' 21-speeds. The spokes and chains. The . . . you get the point.

I am not sure WHY I am obsessed with bicycles lately. I rode the stationary (sp?) bike at the gym the other morning for 10 minutes and I was more than happy to hear the "beep" of completion. I have not riden a bike since I was in high school. I used to ride back and forth to band practice and to the pool and to visit friends, etc. I never rode for fitness. I never went "off roading." I never rode in a race. I have, frankly, never even thought about taking a bike "off road" or to challenge another person to see who can go faster. Biking, for me, was always about two very simple things . . . getting from point a to point b and, of course, looking coooool doing it. Okay, biking was only about ONE thing for me.

But that has changed for whatever reason as of late.

I want a bike. I want to own a bike. I want a bike I can be proud of and that I can use to run an errand in the neighborhood and that I can ride to and from work (it is about two miles each way) and I want a bike that I can put a seat on the back of to take Ava out for a spin on a Saturday afternoon too (I can hear her giggling now).

I have read many, many books in my life. Some for school. Some for work. Some for pleasure. Some for a combination of the above. Without question, my top ten books of all time would be littered with the works of a fellow "recovering" big man - Mike Magnuson. I celebrate his entire catalog! My FAVORITE Mike Magnuson book though is Heft on Wheels. The book is about how Magnuson wakes up one day and decides he is overweight, drinks too much, smokes too much and doesn't have enough of a focus or obsession to keep him away from his vices so - he turns to bike riding - something that he, like me, enjoyed immensely in his youth (he talks about in Lummox and The Right Man For the Job).

Magnuson goes from the couch to racing up mountains (literally) in just about no time at all (in the grand scheme of things) and if you read his blog now . . . he seems to ONLY talk about biking (I've been waiting, impatiently, for another Magnuson book for YEARS, dammit!) any more.

Now, I'm not interested in that. I don't want to overhaul my entire life around my two wheeled trophy. I just want another way to get out there and get active. If I can reduce my carbon footprint in the process, all the better.

The weather is getting nicer here in the mighty Wichi-Wichi, it was in the low 50s yesterday and will be again today, and Spring is in the air -- just ask my sinuses and allergies. I walked down to a local bike shop yesterday and chatted with the owner of the shop - AGAIN (I've been in about five times now) and he wants me to take a bike for a test ride this weekend. I have been putting off getting on the bike for a few reasons (namely I'm still not used to my smaller body and I am all but sure that my 500 pounds of girth will crush the bike and I am afraid, if I don't crush the bike first, I will dump it five feet down the road and break at least 100 of the bones in my body).

Anywho - according to the wise bike peddler (NOTE - pun not intended) the time is right to pluck me up a bicycle and to see where it takes me (NOTE - pun not intended).

I probably won't actually buy a bike this year. My father in law has a bike that he doesn't ride so I might try to snag his to see if I will make a real run at it first BUT it is nice to have an interest in owning piece of sporting equipment that doesn't have "Nerf" written on it for once.


David Plain said...

Sean, you're what's known as a clydesdale in cycling circles. I thought this thread from Mountain Bike Reviews clydesdale forum might interest you. Check it out... http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=97174

Sean C. Amore said...

That's awesome. Thanks for the direction, David.

I welcome my mighty status as a horse that most people associate with beer-icony while sitting on my bike!

nytova said...

Awesome, I can't want to hear about your adventures in bicycling. One tip - if you're gonna borrow your father-in-law's bike to test it out, take it over to be fitted for you. Your "bike peddler" can do it real quick. Otherwise you may be just plain uncomfy on a bike not fitted for your height etc. and risk being turned off by cycling... and we don't want that! Even more serious would be knee injury if the seat is too low, for example. I am excited for spring to get out on my own bike too! Have fun!

Sean C. Amore said...

I actually DID know about having a bike fitted (the guy at the shop told me about it) and I actually think the "fit" of the bike is why my father-in-law doesn't ride. He's six-five so he can't possibly be comfortable on a standard bike at the standard settings.