Cycle Journal: A Return To Biking


I was 5 years old when I got my first bike. It was a little worn and rusty, but all we could afford and I had to share it with my sister Julie. It was a boys bike so I knew it was mostly mine. After all it was I who drew first blood. Learning to go was easy for me. Learning to stop...Well, I used things to stop me at first - station wagons, trees, ditches, my sisters. But stopping came in time and in those ditches.

Fast forward to 4th grade I had two bikes in one year and both of them were stolen. You'd think I'd learn to chain them up. Every bike except the last one I had in my 30s was stolen when left unchained. It's the pervert felons. You see, they can't drive so at night they roam the streets looking for unchained bikes to swipe. Pesky perverts.

Fast forward to about a month or so ago, Tammy and I decided - "Let's get some bikes!" We need the exercise. We have great places to ride within a short drive. Plus - I'm always looking for ways to get outdoors. Tammy not so much. Bicycling is a great compromise. She has loved riding bikes since her youth.

We went to our local Wal-Mart just to look and see what was there. Having owned higher-end mountain bikes in the past, I was skeptical I'd find something I'd even consider. Our plan was to get a bike for each of us and we'd all ride locally and see if this is something we'd get into long term. If so, we'd ditch the cheap bikes and go for upgrades.

Gracie is learning how to ride on her new bike - a Huffy Nel Lusso Cruiser. Tammy is sharing for now but we're looking for something for her. I settled on a Kent Bayside Cruiser 7 speed (similar to this one.) and the exact model in the photo above. I had to drive three counties away to see it at another Wal-Mart. In the store it looked like a pretty good entry-level bike. It's light, styled right, comfortable, and the build felt like a bike 3x the cost.

Sold! I brought it home. After a little setting up and wheel truing, I'm pretty stoked with this bike. I've never owned a cruiser platform, but with the 7-speed shifter and handle breaks, I took to it quickly. I also got this Bell Bike Helmet. Once its on, I forget its there.

I hope this sticks. I miss biking and I'm loving introducing my girls to the pastime. We'll see.

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