Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pimp my Ride

This might come as a shock to some of you, but, I hate exercise.

I know! Who would have guessed???

However, Blaine and I decided recently one of the things we would like to start doing as a family is bike riding around the lake. NOT the kind of bike riding where you speed-race a professional-quality bike wearing wet suit-type outfits and helmets with lights on them and have bottled waters strapped to the frame, a la Lance Armstrong. After all, we're bike riding with kids, which means we stop every few hundred feet to climb an interesting looking tree, or look for turtles, or play on playground equipment, or put pretty rocks in our pocket, or (especially maddening to me) count the wild cats we see. (And I wonder why I never burn any calories, what with all the stopping.)

The kids have always enjoyed riding bikes and in Georgia, the loop around our neighborhood was about a quarter mile, so Blaine would take them on occasion. Or I would walk and they would ride, circling back around to me when they got too far ahead. Here in Oklahoma, however, our "neighborhood" isn't set up well for bike riding, so we decided to utilize the bike paths around the two local lakes.

I think the kids really enjoy it, and I do as well. Which is surprising, considering my idea of exercise is changing channels. The first night we went we lasted about half an hour, and except for what will be forever known as the Unfortunate Mutant Attacking Beetle Episode of '08, it was a lot of fun. The other night we met my sister and her family, along with some other kids .... the kids seem to multiply as often as the wild cats around the lake, when our two groups get together. Three adults to eleven kids .... it *sounds* like a pretty good ratio, until you realize the kids are in way better shape than we are and basically rode off and left us in the dust.

Starting out, it was just my three and a friend:



We meandered around, enjoying the view, trying not to crash into one another, struggling to remember to stay on the right so the "serious" riders could pass to the left .....



Here we stopped to watch a man practice retrieving with his two dogs. The kids loved to see the dogs fetch out of the water and want to know when can we take Barley and start practicing??? I told them whenever I can trust her not to pee in my car on the drive to the lake .....



Here's the point to my story, however..... Blaine had a bike, and the kids had bikes. I, however, did NOT, have a bike. Because owning a bike implies I am going to get on it. And steer. And pedal. Which might induce sweating, something I avoid at all costs.

Since I knew I would slow the whole family down without one, however, I broke down and bought a bike for myself. I thought long and hard about my decision. Granted, you never forget how to ride a bike, but I wanted a bike that would reflect my personality; be comfortable to ride; allow me to burn a lot of calories; and MOST importantly .... look cool.

This is what I decided upon:


OK. Before you laugh, let me tell you that not one .... not two .... not three .... but FOUR people stopped me in Wal-Mart to ask me where I got it and how much it cost. Obviously, it is a thing of envy. The basket on the back allows me to carry my camera bag and all the water bottles and snacks --- something that makes me instantly essential to everyone riding with me. The dual back wheels mean I never have to worry about losing my balance ..... I just have to remember I'm a little wider than your average bike, especially when pedaling around curves and posts (lesson learned the hard way.)

I'm not quite sure WHY I'm not getting the respect I think I deserve. After all, I'm out there steering ... and pedaling ..... and (gasp!) EXERCISING, aren't I?

So you tell me which comment was the most insulting from my ::supposed:: friends and family:

Comment #1, from my dear friend Renee: "You bought what????? Aren't those for people who have had strokes or something????"

Comment #2, from my brother-in-law Cliff: "When I was little I had a babysitter that would ride that kind of bike to my house .... she was 97 YEARS OLD."

Comment #3, from my soon-to-be-ex-husband-Blaine: "Hmmmmmmm. Are you sure that seat is big enough?"

Oh, Yes. Yes he did.

40 comments:

Eloise said...

The family bike outings sound like great fun!

The picture of you on your new bike is great. Not to insult your fine state or anything, but are there a lot of people there who are either blind or dumb? You don't look anything close to being pregnant!

Dto3 said...

I think you should have gotten it in cherry red. That would have been cool!

Anonymous said...

Just be carefl! I rose on one of those before and my grandpa was on a regular racing bike, and as I was cruising at an unknown speed, I quickly learned they don't steer well, and t-boned my grandpa, causing him to fell off of his bike, break his helmet and crack his head open...I supposed I should have stayed ON the bike in case the steering came back, but jumping oss seemed the better option!

Jena,NY

Anonymous said...

It's 11:39pm Easter Stand. Time and I should either be asleep or worrying about Hanna, Ike and Josephine since I live 10 miles from the coast in South Florida. But instead I'm sitting here laughing my ass off...but I'm not sure if it's because of the bike you chose or the hilarious comments. Oh, Kristie, you crack me up. So glad to have you back from your break.

Carol
South Florida

Erin said...

OMG, I am cracking up at this post. What a great way to bond as a family & meet some new friends too! ! My sister who has bilaterial hip replacements/leukemia survivor missed biking so much that after cancer treatment & diagnosis of Avascular necrosis she bought the very same bike. It's the coolest bike ever (at least in my opinion) and I hope you get a lot of use out of it! ENJOY!!!!!!!!

Mom on the Run said...

I hope you snapped your fingers with the "oh no he didn't."

I kind of like your bike. I got a Mountain-type bike for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I feel very unstable on it. I have more than once had to push the bike home. And so the bike sits unused and neglected. At least I can ride a stationary bike at the helath club. No way I could fall of that...right?!

Grandma J said...

Comments 1, 2, and 3....the very reasons I don't get one of those cool bikes.

You are braver than me and not the least bit selfconcious...obviously.
:))

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the bike. I ride with my family and the other night, I somehow ended up with the leash attached to our 85 lb. puppy. He pulled me all over the road and I nearly wiped out. If I had a bike like yours, that would not have happened. I'm going shopping for one theis weekend!! (Added bonus....Barley could ride in the basket on your bike. At least for a few more months!)

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

I LOVE the new bike! In fact, I may have to convince my husband that I NEED one! :) And Eloise is right- you definitely don't look at all pregnant- those people are crazy (not to mention rude!). Oh, and I do hope Blaine is doing everything he can to make up for that comment! hehe!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Maybe you could charge to give small kids and dogs rides!!

Hallie :_

Anonymous said...

Unless the seat is as big as a dinner plate, I'm not getting on it.

Kate in IL

SuperSuz said...

*I* love the bike - primarily because it has such a cool basket :-) I had to buy a basket to go on the front of my bike (with a big cushy seat - thank you very much) while we were at St. Simon's so that I could carry everyone's junk (as well as my cookies from Sweet Mama's - yum!).

And, I don't think you look pregnant at all - WHAT is wrong with those people?!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people read your post and did just what I did... went to walmart.com and checked that bike out! At least I now know what I want for my birthday :)

I always enjoy your blog, thanks for writing.

Kathie
www.dunwoodybarnetts.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I love, Love, LOVE your bike!!!! We all got new bikes last year and after a few rounds on my new seat I held a protest. I took the seat to a bike shop and told them I wanted to trade it in for a tractor seat. I'm not kidding. They didn't have one available, and I proceeded to complain that the very sharp seat hurt parts that I didn't want to be hurt. The Bike Guy told me I had to get broken in. I said, "You mean I need to break the seat in?" He said, "No, YOU need to get broken in." He said once certain nerves are pinched off long enough they are less painful. I explained that it was okay with me if my nerves down there didn't go numb, thank you. And sure enough, I did some research on the internet and it can indeed cause, um, "problems" down there. No THANK you!!!!! So my husband bought me a bike seat that consists of two butt-cheek pads that shift as your body shifts. It's great. But I'm thinking that tooling around on your bike would be much, much more my style.

And you SO do not look pregnant.

Claire in Indiana

Sally said...

Maybe Barley could ride in the basket!!!

It is amazing that as we get older we decide that comfort is way more important than being cool (not that I don't think you look cool)!!!

Happy riding!!!

The Running Girl said...

I can't believe your husband actually said that to you!!! Hey, whatever kind of bike will get you out riding is the best bike to have. And I have to say I'm jealous of that bike path. I have to go ride on country roads and worry about getting hit by cars. Enjoy those family rides together.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line of this entire post: "I'm a little wider than your average bike"...hahaheeheehaha!!

Bi is two, tri is three, so therefore you have a tricycle not a bicycle. I had one of those about 43 years ago. I loved it. Oh wait, I was three.... nevermind.

Just messing with you. It is cute trike and very functional. Somebody has to carry all the gear, and that gives you more of a workout with all that extra weight. As long as you don't get into the snacks!

Shanda

Tammy said...

And indeed you do look cool! And not pregnant I might add! Kudo's to you for getting a bike and getting some exercise, I feel you over here trust me. I like the 3 wheeler, never mind those comments, what do they know anyway? Hugs from Fort Worth!

Alice said...

I LOVE your bike. I just got married and my husband suggested we get bikes to have a "hobby" together. I am not exactly known for my athleticism or grace. But you give me hope!

PS- I'm glad you posted a picture of yourself. You're adorable.

Jeanette said...

I wanted that exact same bike for my birthday this year! Ha! Ronny said it had "granny" handlebars, but I loved it!

Anonymous said...

That bike is COOL. I love it!

Have fun.

I think I might want one also.

Mrs. Who said...

I am retiring in the spring and I think I definitely need one of those bikes! Wait! I'm only 55, not 97. I just would love to ride to the Farmer's Market on a bike, get some produce and ride home. Is that green-friendly or WHAT? And I could totally do that with that bike. And it's from Wal-mart!! How convenient.

Cate said...

Great new wheels. Those are wonderful for grocery runs. I have four bikes. My poor roommate has to park on the street and brush the snow off her car in winter because the bikes and all their stuff take up what would be her bay in the garage. Um, and the bikes are hung on the wall. I have a ton of bike crap. One bike I have just to run errands and won't stress if someone "borrows" it, but my babies, a high end mountain bike and road bike, stay locked to the wall when not in use. If the house ever catches fire, I'm getting the bikes out. The car's easy to replace. The bikes have to be special ordered! Sick thing is, I want at least two more. It's a disease.

Anonymous said...

Hell no you don't look pregnant! You look great, especially on the bike! Last summer I decided that I couldn't ride the crappy bikes I had been buying at Target, so I went to the bike shop and got a Specialized. The difference was amazing, easy to pedal and a Big Butt seat, no pain at all! It was great the one time I rode it! I decided that I should ride to school since it's less than a mile, bought a rack to strap my stuff onto, but there it sits in the garage! Today my husband needed the car, so I took the scooter. I may not be exercising, but at least I'm doing my part for the environment plus all my middle schoolers think I'm cool (just what I was aspiring to!)
Sheila-MN

leeanne said...

It's comment #3. Hands down. Tsk, tsk, tsk Blaine. I am laughing my ass off over that one. I love your bike Kristie and you look great too!

krueth said...

I love your bike, My mom had one when we were kids at home, she was about 50, but us kids all rode it too adn we all loved it. I think its great for the stability and safety you feel with it. I have to ride on a county road also and the cars just fly past and the dust is horrible, ugh, I wish we had a bike path nearby. I also agree with the others, you do not look pregnant...did you slap them? ha! Wendy

Natalie said...

I was going to write some smarty comment about how my grandparents used to ride bikes like those, and then I was struck by the practicality of the basket on the bike, as you pointed out. It's the minivan of bikes! And I bet that gigantic seat would just fit my bum. Let's face it, those seats marketed as "ergonomically correct" for women, aren't. So bring on the Lazy Boy seats for bikes!

Renee said...

I think my actual comment was the 71 year old man down the street who had a STROKE rides the exact same bike. He, He. Honestly, I give you credit -- notice where my big fat ass is. Have fun!

1dreamr said...

I *LOVE* it! I want a pink one!!

Anonymous said...

I am LMAO at your post, and also b/c well, it's a *tricycle*, hahaha. I mean, it is a very cool tricycle, but, well, a grown up trike!

Whoever is asking if you are pg is an idiot, b/c you do not look pg at all to me. You don't even look overweight, just average. Then again, since the media pushes the ideal woman as weighing somewhere between 85-98 pounds, maybe these folks in OK read too much Us and people.

Ride on!

Anonymous said...

Kristie,

Just tell the naysayers that it could have been a "jazzie" instead. I love it, just remind them all that you are the provider of beverages, snacks, and tons of photos to show your grandkids!!

Kimybeee

Anonymous said...

Just when I think you can't possibly top an entry....Freaking hilarious. Blaine is damn funny too.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Kristie, but I LMAO when I saw the picture of your bike - it looks like a Big Wheel for adults LOL I really hope you enjoy it - hey exercise is exercise. You go girl!!!

Cindy
Virginia

jadine said...

Not sure which made me laugh more: your post or the comments! Between grampa's cracked-open head (OMG!) to dinner plate-sized seat --- I actually did lol. And I'm not an lol sorta gal. (Disclaimer: I don't think it's funny to *intentionally* crack open one's grampa's head...but accidentally, it's a "snort!" sort of thing --- provided that he recovers and all.)

Personally, my butt hurts too much after both bike-riding and bowling, so I don't do either. Actually, a co-worker friend of mine told me (she's a triathlete (sp??)) that the problem is the bike seat if it hurts my butt. Not sure what the problem is with bowling, though.

And now, after typing this dumb comment, I'm actually wanting one of those bikes. And, like 1dreamr, I want a pink one. Sigh.

Marcia said...

I tried riding one of those bikes in the Bahamas, when I was about 15. I ditched it as soon as I got on!! I didn't feel too badly, because so did the couple I was there with. LOL The only one who could ride it was the grandma who was with us, who had never ridden a 2 wheeler. Once you learn to balance a 2 wheeler, you tend to over steer....and ditch them!! Be careful!! :)
I love that you have somewhere to carry your camera. I am about to get my mom's nice bike as a hand me down, because I'm telling myself I'll actually get out and ride it. I think I need to get a basket to carry my camera, because I'm sure it'll be all about photo ops. :)

Andee said...

Oh ouch. I can't believe he said that. I believe that 'soon-to-be-ex-husband" is an appropriate title. LOL.

KKGrimmer said...

I've been wanting a bike like yours. I think one in pink would be CUTE!

Mama Bear said...

Does Barley fit in the basket?

Anonymous said...

I've been saving up for one of those. Seriously. I suck at riding a bike too, but with 3 kids, how am I going to get out of doing it? This "adult trike" will save my life. I intend to get one as soon as possible. You are not alone! -dq

Patty House, Jasonville, IN said...

OMG! Thanks for the laugh. People at work were really starting to irritate me. I needed that. How does Blaine like sleeping with Barley now that he said that? ;)