Biking 500 Miles in 2017

For the last several years, despite not having been on a bicycle in almost 15 years, I wanted a bike.  Not just any bike though, I wanted a cruiser, a pink one with a big comfy seat and a basket.  I had visions of riding my bike to the store, complete with pigtails, a big floppy hat and a flowered dress, and meandering around the neighborhood.  Last February, finally tired of daydreaming, I went to Target intent on coming home with a bike, and I did.

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Betty

It was everything I had hoped for, except that it wasn’t pink.  I could have brought home a pink bike, but oddly the pink bike didn’t suit me as much.  Betty, by bikes name, came already assembled with a big comfy seat, basket, cup holder, bell, and a bottle opener!  She was perfect!  I rode her nearly everyday, minus the pigtails, floppy hat, and flowered dress.  I rode through the neighborhood.

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I rode at night.

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I rode along the Arizona Canal.

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But I never rode to the store.  Bike theft is huge in the Phoenix area and I haven’t found a bike lock I’m willing to trust yet.

The husband has a mountain bike and quickly fell in love with trail riding.  Wanting to see if I would also enjoy trail riding, he bought me a mountain bike.

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Beulah

We bought Beulah, this bikes name, second-hand for very cheap, as a starter bike, to see if I would like trail riding.  The bike riding uncle lives near an old gravel pit and rides his bike there all the time, the husband thought this would be a good introduction for me to trail riding.

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First time riding in the dirt
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bike riding uncle

We rode 10.56 miles that day, less than a mile in the gravel pit, the rest along the Cave Creek Trail.

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Immediately after that ride my only thought was, ‘sweet jesus, my ass hurts’.  Beulah did not come with a big comfy seat.  My next thought was that riding in the dirt wasn’t so bad.  There is a distinct difference between riding in the gravel pit and trail riding I would learn.

The next time I rode Beulah was with an enhanced padded seat on a 7.23 mile ride along the canal, and my ass still hurt.

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It wasn’t long before the full heat of summer was upon us and it was still 100° at 9pm.  I tried to keep up with my riding but eventually the heat got the better of me.  I rode once or twice through the fall but had gotten out of the habit, sadly Betty and Beulah sat unridden in the shed for months.

 

il_fullxfull-968985476_2farI missed riding my bikes though, so as I was formulating my 2017 goals I decided to include bike riding.  I had already set a goal of hiking 500 miles in 2017 so I decided to match that and also ride 500 miles in 2017.  I already knew the mileage math involved, 1.4 miles per day or 9.6 miles per week or 41.7 miles per month.  I rode roughly 250 miles in 2016, once again, challenge accepted!

 

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