Thursday, May 29, 2014

Riding the Bike Again

I used to ride my bike semi-frequently. During my early college years I'd go on early-morning bike rides when I was home during the summer. After Ryan and I got married we often rode our bikes to class since we didn't have a car. But I haven't touched my bike since Gareth was born. Seven years.

Around here they have Bike-to-School/Work Month in May. I'm guessing other places have this as well? I'd never heard of it until living here, so maybe not. Gareth loves riding his bike to school and seeing many other friends biking a lot and having one friend in particular who is a bike enthusiast (bikes around Lake Washington while his kids are at school, things like that) had given me the itch to start riding again. Plus, I am really needing some kind of exercise in my life and riding seemed like something I could do once in a while even with all the other stuff I've got going on.

So I went out and bought a new helmet to replace the one I'd had since 5th grade and had my friend give the bike a once-over to make sure it was in working order. Today I went on my first effort-requiring ride. To celebrate the end of Bike-to-School Month, there was a bike party down on the "Main Street" of our neighborhood after school. So I borrowed our friend's trailer, stuck Malcolm in it (he LOVED the trailer), and we all rode down with several other school kids/parents. It's an easy ride down - all downhill. My hands were actually getting a bit tired from having to use the brakes constantly. The problem with an easy ride down is it means a harder ride back up.

We stayed at the party long enough for Gareth to get some free sample things and to watch a BMX jump show and then headed home. It wasn't too long before I was pedaling on my lowest gear and my legs were aching. Gareth did an awesome job and pedaled the whole way home - about 1.7 miles. Not bad considering we'd never done a ride like this before! I made it home too, though I felt nauseous and like I was going to fall over by the time we finished. I can't wait to see how badly my legs ache tomorrow.

My friend keeps trying to talk me into riding around Lake Washington with him. I think that'll be a good goal to work toward. But first I think I'd like to be able to ride a slight incline for a couple miles without it nearly killing me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Me: How was your bike ride home, Gareth?
Gareth: Good.
Ryan: Bad.
Gareth: No! Good!

...after a lot more bantering back and forth...

Ryan: Better than 50 million dollars?
Gareth: No!
Ryan: Better than 5 million dollars?
Gareth: No!

etc, until:

Ryan: Better than 5 dollars?
Gareth: Yes!
Ryan: Better than 15 dollars?
Gareth: No
Ryan: Better than 12 dollars?
Gareth: Yes
Ryan Better than 13 dollars?
Gareth: A tiny bit better.

Apparently riding his bike home from school with our friend is worth approximately $13.50.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

We took it pretty easy this weekend. I had a Chemistry exam on Thursday and had had to play first clarinet at orchestra rehearsal on Wednesday, so I let myself relax and ignore all things school for the entire weekend. I feel okay about this since I was recovering from a horrible cold (stupid cough is still lingering).

I still miss Somerville's Memorial Day. Maybe next year I'll have to try harder to find a parade or something for us to attend, because it feels weird to not do anything! Anyway, we mostly hung around the house this weekend. Folklife is always this weekend, but I think we had our fill of that a few years ago. I'm guessing there were lots of hippie wannabes, lots and lots of pot (not that this wasn't there before - pretty sure I remember smelling that 4 years ago, but I'd wager it was present in larger quantities now that it's legal), and a plethora of bad musicians playing throughout Seattle Center. I had a concert on Sunday, which went pretty well. I made some mistakes that I wish I hadn't. Luckily I'll get a second chance at the clarinet convention this summer.

We all slept in a bit this morning. Then we enjoyed a late breakfast of whole grain pancakes, canadian bacon, and hash. Ryan has this place downtown that he goes to for lunch sometimes and he buys the hash there. Gareth is too scared to try it, which is fine by us since that means more for us.

Then we got some yardwork done - Ryan trimmed the ivy and pampas grass (which may be dying, hooray!) and I did weeding with some help from Gareth while Malcolm wandered the yard. A little later in the afternoon Gareth and I went for a short bike ride to the park where we ran into friends and played for a bit. I finally got around to getting a new helmet and had a bike enthusiast friend take a look at my bike to make sure it was in working order and pump up the tires for me, so now I have no excuse not to go riding with Gareth or by myself. Though we don't have a way to carry Malcolm on our bikes, so that will make it more difficult to just get out and go. I'm going to be in for some saddle soreness this summer - the ride to the park is not very long and already my seat felt very hard and uncomfortable. Ryan is also attempting to ride his bike more, though he's doing so in the hopes of working up to riding to work. He's told me that if he makes it through a full winter riding every day then he'll consider letting himself save up for a good road bike. It'd be nice for him to not have to wait for the bus, not to mention it'd be great exercise in addition to his weightlifting.

It was a good weekend, and one that leaves me excited for Gareth and myself to be done with school in a few weeks.