Adventures in retirement: The bicycle ride

There’s an expression out there that goes like this, “It’s like learning to ride a bike, once you learn you never forget.” I took that quote to heart when after twenty years of not riding I decided I needed a bicycle. It would be good exercise and I’d get to enjoy the great outdoors.

With new found determination to do this together, my husband and I went on the hunt for a couple of beach cruisers. We didn’t want fancy gears and such. We live in Florida. It’s flat! 10003197_10202713622355454_938887894_n

Three days after bringing home our purchases, we pulled out the old bike rack with plans to take our inaugural ride. First off, my husband bought a bike with 32” wheels, making it hard to mount both his and mine on the rack. So, after a bit of a struggle, we managed to get mine in the back of our small SUV, and off we went.

I quickly discovered that what the above quote doesn’t say is that thought you might remember, it doesn’t mean your agility level is at the same place it was when you were a kid. Used to be when I felt I was losing control, I could swing my leg around, push the bike aside and end up on two feet. Now, with barely my toes being able to reach the ground when sitting on the seat, and a lot less dexterity in my movements, I was feeling a bit nervous.

Determined to make good on my promise to exercise more I forged on, following my husband for nearly two miles. Yes, my legs felt a bit like jelly by the time I was through, but I wanted to go again. After a quick break, we decided go halfway, so once again I followed my husband through the parking lot of this lovely park as we found a back way to the trail. This is where I made my mistake. Instead of walking the bike down the slight grassy and sandy incline, I played the brave girl and rode.

One trip to the emergency room, and two broken ribs later, I struggle to move and breathe. My goal is not to give up riding, but to use the brains God gave me and make wiser decisions next time—whenever that time may be.

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