We have several bicycles hanging up on the garage wall. They haven't been used for years.
When we were in Vancouver this summer, one of the things we did was rent bikes to ride through Stanley Park. It was a lot of fun, and it inspired Tony to get his bike off the hook when he got home. He's been riding in the mornings before work, and occasionally in the evening. After a couple of weeks of hearing about his exploits, I decided that it might be fun to join him.
Before today all I did was talk about it, but this morning Tony had to go to the library to pick up a movie he'd requested. Rather than getting in the car for the five-mile trip, he suggested a bike ride. He had a route mapped out through the subdivisions, and a plan for the portion of the trip on the major road. There was one big hill on each leg of the trip, but Tony was sure I could handle it. I wasn't quite as confident, but said I'd give it a try.
I found an old fanny pack to hold my essentials-water bottle, chapstick and cell phone, strapped on my helmet, and we were off. It was a lot of fun until I got to the first hill. Even with my bike in first gear I only got three-fourths of the way up before I got off and walked the rest of the way. The trip went quickly; we moved easily from one subdivision to another. Sometimes Tony was in the lead and sometimes I was ahead of him.
When we got close to the library we had to navigate a short section of Big Bend, which is five lanes wide at that point. Technically we should have crossed the road for two blocks, and then crossed again to turn onto the library street, but we ended up riding on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road and cutting through a parking lot instead.
There was a bike rack right outside the library door, and Tony's cable lock was long enough to take care of both bikes. It only took a couple of minutes for him to get his movie, and we were on our way back home. This time we were able to ride on the correct side of the road the whole time. We backtracked our way from one subdivision to another, and soon I had to face the second hill. Sadly, I failed again. This time I only made it halfway up. Tony breezed past me as I walked my bike the last portion. Once I got to the top, I got back on and peddled the rest of the way.
When I got home I hung my bike up, and attached my helmet to the handlebar. The trip had been fun. Even though it wasn't my errand, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. I hope if I keep working at it, soon I'll be laughing as I zoom up those hills!