adventures, exercise, exercise gear, exploring, lifestyle

The Bike

When quarantine hit in March, I had to recognize that everything that I was procrastinating about was related to transportation. I had put off renewing my passport, learning to swim, learning to drive and buying a bike. The cold reality of my situation as that I could not outrun a zombie with my little fat self and I had no wheels to ride on and if someone said swim to the vaccine I was gonna be assed out.

That’s some harsh shit to realize.

I sent off a passport application (finally) but the DMV is closed so I can’t get the permit to drive yet. The place where I want to take swimming lessons is closed until September. So… I bought a bike. It took two months to arrive, but I bought a bike.

I got ripped off on the first bike I chose, then I found this beauty. The Adventurer 6 speed folding bike, $169.99 on the Camping World website. I thought that a folding bike would be better for someone living in a studio apartment, but I found out that that bike was heavy for me to carry folded, so it’s been set up like this since I got it. I did some group bike lessons with Bike New York, but I didn’t take the street riding class because the lady who ran it was nasty. Yes, I will avoid using a free service if I’m treated badly. Surprise. So technically I could ride, but I was very nervous about going out in the street on my own. It took some googling but I finally found someone who would trade money for bike riding lessons.

They call him… Professor Pedals.

I stalked their website until they finally posted lessons were available and I pounced. By the power of my enhanced unemployment check I paid $150 to have another human being coach me on how to ride in the street. One misty early summer morning I met my teacher in Prospect Park and for an hour and a half I got tutored on how to feel like I wasn’t going to die the minute I wheeled my bike into the street. I’m not being sarcastic or dramatic. This was the only thing keeping me from riding the bike I had sitting in my apartment, and it was worth every penny to have someone professional to ride with that first time.

I don’t ride every day (yet), but I can go riding with confidence now. My arms are starting to relax and when I go I stay out longer. I went from doing one loop around my block to turning up and down unfamiliar territory, albeit within six blocks of my building. I fell down one morning and got back on the bike. I have to stop and rest because this quarantine weight is kicking my ass. But I love the joy of coasting down the road on two wheels, with the breeze on my face. I love having the choice of walking or riding. It’s a process, but I have wheels and I can finally be out there using them.

PS, don’t forget to wear you’re helmet. This is the free one that I got at a street fair from the D.O.T. a few years ago. If you need a helmet look here.

Hope you guys are getting through quarantine, phased openings and re-lockdowns ok. It’s a wild situation, so do your best.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK

biking, exercise, food, health, new york

in which we go to Queens, get lost, and then spend an hour riding with Bike NY

I was actually going to save this post, since I just told you about going biking, but I figured- what the hell! Let’s just do it!

bny2

The other two outings were Learning To Ride ( Adults) and Bicycling Basics– this was the payoff.

bny3

First off, I’ve never been out this far in Queens and I bitched up the directions and got lost. I had to ask a policeman or crossing guard or something. He had a uniform, so I asked him. After a lot of headscratching, we finally figured out where I was going and I set off.

The upside is that I know how to get to a Mets game now, so that’s something.  bny4

When I got there, everyone was still practicing. Lucky! The got me a bike and I joined the class- only an hour late.  bny5

part of the reason that I was late was because I couldn’t sleep. This is the face of a woman who had no sleep. I was still so keyed up from Summer Streets and the Slide the City that I stayed up all night. That helmet isn’t just protecting my brain; it’s holding it in place. When I got ready to leave I was so flustered that I just threw the Clif Bar & Perky Jerky and Vitacoco from Summer streets in my knapsack with the DOT helmet and ran out the door.

Outfit? Oldass sweatshirt and my usual LL Bean jeans. I could not get it together at all. I’m lucky I was clean. bny6

After everyone finished practicing riding around curves, scanning and signalling, Douglas (our volunteer instructor) took ous out into Corona Park proper to ride. We stopped a few times, but I only remembered to take my cameraphone out once. I was too busy relishing the fact that I was riding. I was also trying to keep up with Douglass. I was in the top four riders in the class every time we stopped to rest and the top four fastest riders in the class were all women.  bny7

I made it back to our starting point first- remembering to signal a right turn as I slid into the last curve. I made sure to set my Samsung GearFit this time. I only forgot during one stretch, so I think we actually covered more ground? I just had my GearFit on pause because we were waiting for people to catch up and I forgot to restart it for awhile. But 4.32 miles to someone who couldn’t ride at all at the beginning of the summer is nothing to sneeze at.  bny8

As I trudged back to the train station, I remembered the mall I had seen on the way to the park. I had eaten all my samples and I was still hungry. I figured there must be something to eat in there, and it turned out that what I wanted was visible as soon as I walked through the door. I needed ice cream in my life.

I couldn’t even decide what to get, I was so hot and sweaty that I wanted to just stick my face in a tub of anything and gorge. I settled on a shake. A birthday cake and lemon shake to be exact.

bny9

I would literally be willing to get up and take the train all the way out to Queens to go to Sky View Mall  just to have another shake like this. Hershey’s I ce Cream, I love you.

bny91

Now I was happy and whatnot. I bopped along drinking my shake and loving life and noticed that I could see the globe from the World’s Fair- so now I know where that is, but that’s another adventure entirely.

Next up: How to get an IDNYC card and why you should get that before 12/31

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

unnamed