#3: The first three things I bought

3Things
What you no doubt will discover is your earlier days of cycling are going to cost. Why? Because there is stuff you need and stuff you just want.

Of course, there are always ways to borrow, buy second hand and do things cheaper but for me, I have learnt there are times when quality counts.

Since the first bike I road was a loaner and my brother had given me a spare tube and a tool kit (which hangs in a small kit bag just under the back of the seat), I needed a few other things and there were a couple of bike shops nearby which found me browsing there a number of times, usually followed by forking out some cash.

First, in Australia and New Zealand you are going to need a helmet. Continue reading

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#2: This seat is hard. These clothes are uncomfortable. This hill is steep…..

GiantBikepic: It was something like this…..

So we had talked about it a couple of times and finally, I stirred up the courage to go and get it.  It was my brothers mountain bike that he was going to loan me for a month.

After he showed off his light weight racer and my nephews road bike, we went for a ride around the block. It was slow and laborious.  It took effort and I was quick to sweat. After a kilometre or so that was enough – I got the idea of what to do.

Back to his garage, a quick lesson on how to take the wheels off and on (which I should have paid more attention to because when I got home it took me an age to get the wheels on again). I then loaded the bike into the car, threw in the spare tube and the took kit, and gone…..

Continue reading

#1: Here I am, riding away from death

Ride2

I had always found it hard to find a reason to give up smoking because my desire and motivation was never strong enough. But as I approached 50, I could feel my health fading fast, my lungs felt like they were shrinking and my heart had small pains all over the place. I was concerned for my longevity or lack thereof.

Therefore, I will be forever thankful to my brother for loaning me his mountain bike and inspiring a lost joy, triggering something that can save me from smoking (though sometimes I feel that my new hobby will be the new death of me, at least I will be enjoying it).

It’s been five months since my first serious ride for 30 years and I am still going strong. My heart feels great, my lungs can breath, I have lost 9kg (20 lbs) and I can now ride 100km’s in a session. Who would have thought? Not me, that’s for sure.

I am a road rider.  As much as I can see the fun in dirt, mud and dodging trees. Road riding is what we did in my mid teens (when I last owned a bike and road all the time) and is what I enjoy today.  Maybe I will add a mountain bike later but for now – its all tarmac.

Anyhow, I have decided to blog about my learnings. Maybe it will inspire someone to get off the cigs and get out on a bike, or maybe trigger the same feelings of rediscovery that I have had, about my pre-car childhood joy that can help you get fit again.

But the real point, whatever the motivation is there is so much to learn and understand for an adult to get into cycling, and getting started is the hardest part. I have 5 months of content to share about my lessons learnt as a novice.

So lets go back to February 2013, it’s the end of summer….

This seat is hard. These clothes are uncomfortable. This hill is steep…..

Ride On
Stuart