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!