Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cross-Training: Flower Power

A couple of months ago when I joined Team Point Two, my marathon advisor, John Ellis instructed me to "start cross-training". He suggested swimming, biking, or even rowing as good ways to excercise while resting my running muscles.
My bicycle, in front of some dumpsters, in front of my building
LUCKILY, around this time last year I purchased a used bike from Spokes Bicycle Rentals. In its former life my ride had been rented hourly by sightseeing tourists. I paid $225 cash for it and then tricked it out with a black metal mesh basket.....
....some flashy safety lights..... ....and a titanium bike lock that came with about 12 keys. I also bought a bottom of the line helmet to protect my noggin.
As you can see, my bicycle is pink and purple with some pink flowers on it....
I know, it just screams "Bad Ass" doesn't it? People see me coming and they scurry. To be honest, I'm not really a huge fan of purple, but the price was right and it fits. It has 6 gears, but only 5 of them work. The rubber grips are disintegrating and sliding off the ends of the handlebars .
These handlebars are also very wide and ungainly, which makes getting the bike in and out of my apartment building a bit of an exercise, especially since there are 5 sets of doors between the storage locker and the sidewalk. And here's proof:

My bike in jail (Door No. 1)

The elevator ride (Doors No. 2 & 3)
I still haven't decided whether its easier to back the bike into the elevator or back it out.
Front door (No. 4)
Front Gate (No. 5)
The point is, I bought this bicycle primarily to get around downtown - not to impress people. You know those places that are too close to drive to and too far to walk when you're in a hurry? I bought my oversized, run-down, garish used bike so I could lock it up outside and not worry about it being stolen.
Some asshole stole the last bike I owned 12 years ago, and I still feel traumatized by the experience. It was a candy-apple red Rocky Mountain with grey tires and I'd ridden it in my first (and only) triathlon. I usually try not to get attached to things, but I was very fond of that bike and was pretty sad and pissed off when it was taken.
Anyway, back to the cross training. The main thing I'm doing these days, outside of running, is swimming. There are 3 pools within about a 20 minute bike ride from my house, two of which are outdoor. So, I ride my jalopy of a bicycle to and from the various pools, where I lock it up and swim lengths. I log my bike riding time on Buckeye Outdoors just like any other workout, even though I can't really go fast enough to work up a sweat.
I might train for a triathlon again sometime, and I imagine I'll want to invest in a slightly more serious bicycle. Until then, I'll keep riding the cumbersome pink flower bike to the pool, the really good video store, the best pizza place in town, the big movie theatre, and my Grandma's house.
This Week's Mileage: Planned: 35 miles / 56.3 km Actual: 24.06 miles / 38.72 km
Reasons: Low blood sugar crisis on Thursday, ongoing lethargy the rest of the week, maybe I had a virus or something. Runs definitely felt harder than usual.


DuffRunner said...

perfect city bike. I have an old rockhopper hardtail I got that once upon a time I used in San Francisco. Now I pretend that I intend to use it to commute-and perhaps I WILL!

Is that purple or PINK? Looks Pink to me!

jeannie said...

nice bike. i'm also looking to get back on the bike (as usual inspired by you - you told me you purchased used bikes when i visited vancouver). looking for a used one of course. thomas also agreed to get one too and ride with me.

Nicole said...

Chris, You're right, it's mostly pink. BUT it has purple fenders.

Petraruns said...

Gorgeous bike. Perfect. Checking out your blog OMG I ran the 2007 Amsterdam marathon too! Can't believe it! We should have met up...

Nicole said...

That's crazy Petra! I was at Maes B & B, where were you? It would have been so nice to meet - I was all by myself over there...But that was pre-Twitter.

I Run for Fun said...

And I thought it was difficult to get my bike out of my basement and out the door.

It's such a shame about the bike you lost. Hope you get a nice one soon.

Jeri said...

I actually really like your bike! I had one stolen a few years ago and I'm STILL bitter about it. Unluckily for whomever stole it, the brakes didn't work. I hope they figured that out the hard way.

gabsatrucker said...

Very cool cruiser, my hubby is in the (very slow) process of building me an around town cruising bike. Some days you just NEED the basket, a backpack just won't do.


kate said...

I love your bike! it just screams Nicole! LOL :)