GFGL FIT BLOG: Summer Bike Love

This week I took my bike out and had a good ride for the first time in almost a year (a shamefully long time, I know). But we have a history…

My bike is an old-timey guy, found in the basement of a bike shop of a college town with no brakes and a seat eaten away by squirrels. But he’s one of those classic Schwinn’s from the 70s with that red paint job like someone wanted it to look like a sports car. Basically, I love it like a pound puppy- not perfect,  just needs a little extra love. Those first few years we were inseparable. We went to work, we went out to dinner, to bars, to the farmer’s market. We met new people, we had adventures. It was a passionate romance. I would even neglect my first love of running to get in some quality time on my bike. There were even stickers applied to the handle bars and expensive locks purchased.

But things changed. On a ride to pick blackberries last summer (so cute, right?!) we popped a tire. No biggie.  A very helpful bike-nut friend patched it up for me. The repair worked well and allowed for some beautiful blackberry-picking rides but, sadly, 30-year-old tires can only take so much lovin’ before they give out. I was cheap and it was the end of summer. We grew apart. I embraced other modes of transportation. My passion for running came back with more zest. The bike came with me to every new apartment, living on porches and even outside or in the car in a few desperate times. I dragged that thing all over the state with flat tires like some kind of awful metaphor.

This past week, the guilt finally got to me and I fixed my old buddy up for a ride. I had almost forgotten how great a bike ride can be.  It’s such a great alternative to those days when it’s just too hot/ humid to run or you just need a change of pace. I have amigos that bike almost everywhere. They have quads of steel and don’t bat an eye at a 45-degree hill.  I get tired, I get sore, I get whiney. No one knows how long this will last. It may just be a summer fling. We may be settling in for long-term affair, but I’m glad to have my old friend back. I think with time I can get back into the groove.

I would love to be able to do a triathlon at some point, but right now I’m looking to sign up for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 7. The race has been called “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America,” so I’m really looking forward to it. Until then I run, I bike, I try to eat vegan, which still proves challenging because everyone I know must have taken a grilling class or something and is busting out amazing burgers left and right. But, hey, at least I’m trying.

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