Hi, I’m your weblog mistress, and I’m a couch potato.
When my Patient Husband brought home his bicycle (which he still isn’t cleared to ride due to the broken elbow) I began to think it would be a good idea for me to get one too. My pipe dream is that someday, we’ll be able to leave our kids with someone (or heck, by themselves) and go on local trail rides together.
My Patient Husband agrees that someday such a thing may be possible. By my estimation, I have five years to get into shape to do it.
This is how my Patient Husband, he who mows the lawn in nice straight lines, bought his commuter bicycle:
PH: I would like a bicycle to commute ten miles to work. I have researched the issues and would like to discuss the benefits of a carbon fork and test-ride five different styles of bike.
Bicycle Shop: We’ll order some test models and assemble them for you. In the meantime, here’s some more literature about the benefits of an aluminum frame. Within three weeks, you’ll have been able to make your decision.
This is how I bought my bicycle:
Me: I want a bike. I have a coupon.
Because let’s face it, you don’t need very much bicycle to go around the block in Angelborough.
Interesting point of the day: I have to wear a size 8+ helmet. That’s right: my seven year old daughter and I have the same size head.
I got home and tested the thing out in the driveway, after which the other household guardian angels agreed they understood why my guardian angel might have grey feathers in his wings, when he didn’t about, oh, 40 years ago. 🙂
Here’s where I need your help. I am exercise-stupid. I want to come up with something I can do that keeps me on the bike.
I live beside Angelborough Loop, which is almost exactly one mile long by the car’s odometer. It’s got a gradual hill on one side and a rather drastic hill on the other. Meaning I have to push hard to get up the first 3/4 of a mile and then coast at rather scary speeds down the rest. I figured that hill would be my well-intentioned death.
So you’ll imagine my surprise when I took the bike out for its maiden voyage and did it just fine! I was so busy explaining to God that I’d be turning around before I got to the top that I was stunned to actually see the top, and then I was past it, and then I zoomed home courtesy of gravity.
Clearly I have no idea what you’re supposed to do on a bike, mileage wise. On Sunday, I took it out again with Kiddo#2 and we did the loop three times. I felt I could do more, but I stopped.
I need some realistic goals:
-how often should I ride?
-how far should I ride? (In other words, what would a normal human be able to do? What’s the sign that I MUST stop now?)
-Is it better to push until it hurts, or stop before that point?
What’s your experience? And remember, I’m a couch potato and a mom of four, so whatever you suggest, it has to be something realistic.