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Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Fat girl biking: Vocabulary.

In biking, Fat Girl Biking on July 4, 2010 at 22:41

Doored – tr.v.

1. slang To strike (a passing bicyclist, for example) by suddenly opening a vehicular door.

Asshole – n. vulgar

1. slang A stupid, mean, or thoroughly contemptible, detestable person.

Fat girl biking.

In biking, Fat Girl Biking, randomness from my mind on July 4, 2010 at 04:25

For the past several months my life has been all about biking. I bike to work. I bike to the store. I bike to meet friends. I bike on the weekends for fun. I talk about biking. I buy ridiculous bike clothing, tight-fitting and padded for my comfort even though i firmly believe spandex is a privilege not a right, and im not entirely convinced that i have the right. BIKES BIKES BIKES!

It was the end of june last year when i decided i was fed up with riding the bus with crazy people, but it wasn’t until early august that i managed to find the bike right for me. I was determined to look cool biking. I test rode a million bikes (read 10). Since seattle if full of hills i eliminated the ultra cool hipster Fixed Gear immediately. Although i knew that would make me look supper cool, i also knew there would be no way that i would be able to get simple places like home which sits at the top of a hill from every direction. Next up road bikes! They look cool. I test road two. The first one was wrong for a lot of reasons. I was too low to the ground, i didn’t like how hunched over i was, and more importantly i really couldn’t get a hold of the brakes. Having gone straight from little kid pedal brakes to the parallel to the handlebar brakes on a mountain bike these in front-of-you-somewhere-too-lowdown things were confusing. The test ride was at best scary and painful, but a different bike might be better. So i told the bike-shop-guy my issues and he suggested a different road bike, bigger frame, a little less hunching. At first this bike felt better, it was less hunching, and the bigger frame was also appreciated as i didn’t feel like i was sitting on the ground, now what about those brakes. Having gone down a hill and needing to turn right onto a busier road i found myself needing to break. I reach my hand up to squeeze the lovely parallel to the handle bars.. you know where they had always been on my mountain bikes when i felt panic and needed to stop quickly. Only this wasn’t one of those types of bikes. Eventually i remembered where the breaks where and applied them, but not before scaring the shit out of myself and the guy driving the car i nearly ran into head first. I should have stopped then, but after calming down from my near death experience i decided that i just wouldn’t buy one of those bikes with the silly break placement. This left hybrids!

They took all the cool parts of a road bike and mingled them with all the cool parts of a mountain bike. I test road a bunch of hybrids. And after a few weeks i decided on a kona dew plus. A kona bike because they seemed to have a more solid frame. I was slightly afraid that those really thin bikes were not really made for someone my size.  The dew plus model came with disc brakes. And the internet told me that disc brakes were better for biking in wet conditions. I live in seattle.. i deducted that i would in fact be braking in wet conditions for most of the year.

And so it began. My life with bikes. Id like to say that it was a wonderful honeymoon period, but that would be a lie. My first few months were full of flat tires, fights with stray birds on the bike trail, and slick roads. There was even an incident with a jogger that was jogging with his eyes closed. But then i got new tires, and the bike and i had a talk. After that things were good. Months and months went by and we had become the best of friends.

Things were going so well that i decided that i would train for the STP (Seattle to Portland), a 202 mile bike ride.

So that’s what ive been doing. Training. I was up to two days of back to back 60 miles. Things were going so well. But, you know… its funny how things go well, until of course, they don’t.