Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bikes!

What? A post about bikes? That's completely new!:) Ok, so I know it's getting old. I can't help it!

Last night we went bike shopping for Josh. Josh had a really nice bike and Matthew's bike was way too small so we were planning on buying a new one for Matthew, but when we went out last week to get Josh's bike ready for him we realized that he's getting really close go growing out of his bike, so we gave his bike to Matthew and we went bike shopping for Josh.

First of all, bikes are expensive. Several years ago I bought a cheap bike at Target for Josh and that stupid bike fell apart on a regular basis. The chain wouldn't stay on and the whole thing just felt cheap. Josh rarely rode his bike because every time he did it would fall apart and it was frustrating. I kind of think that was the beginning of us not being a bike riding family. Josh never wanted to ride his bike because it was crappy and we got tired of fixing it and watching it fall apart again and we never got around to buying him a new one and eventually we all just kind of gave up on bike riding. We eventually did go buy him a really nice new bike in an attempt to drum up excitement for bike riding again, but his new bike never got much use. By that time he was kind of over it and we were busy doing other things in the summer and bike riding just didn't happen much.

But this is the year we're changing our bad choices and tossing out the excuses and it was time to figure out the bike situation. Once we decided whose bike fit who and determined that it was Josh who needed a new bike, we were off to the store.

Because I had a bad experience buying Josh a cheap bike, I decided that it was going to be worth it to invest in a nice bike. Then he can ride it for years and then eventually pass it down to Matthew. I would rather spend good money on one bike we can enjoy and keep for a long time than keep buying cheap bikes that fall apart that no one rides because they're crappy and uncomfortable.

Our bike shopping adventure yesterday would have been comical had we not been so frustrated. First of all, we took all three kids, and a toddler in a bike shop is a recipe for disaster. We actually started out at the Boise Bike Project, which I blogged about a few months ago. We donated our old bikes there. They fix up old bikes and donate them to low income people in the community and they also have a bike shop where you can buy used bikes. I was hoping that we could find a used but decent higher end bike for a reduced price there. We did find one that might have worked but it had chain issues that they were willing to fix, but they were too busy to do it then and I decided that I didn't want to take a chance on another bike with chain issues so we scrapped that idea and decided just to buy him a new one.

Clarissa was a nightmare at the bike shop, which was a cluttered and crowded place full of dangerous shiny things she really wanted to touch. We were trying to figure out what was wrong with the chain on the bike we were interested in while trying to keep Clarissa from destroying the place and everyone got cranky really quickly. Then we left the bike shop in downtown five o'clock traffic (bad idea) and Josh got carsick and we ended up making a pit stop at Shopko so he could puke. It was an awesome adventure. Not so much.

We eventually ended up at REI and let me just say it again. Bikes are expensive!! They have some really nice bikes at REI. I would eventually like to buy a nicer bike for myself but after looking at the price tags on some of the adult bikes, I think i'd better start saving up! It looks like cycling is not gearing up to be a cheap hobby. (Gearing up. Haha. I'm hillarious.)

To make a long story short(er), we finally found a bike at REI that is good quality, will hopefully fit Josh for a while and I only choked at the price a little bit (and then a little bit more after tacking on two new helmets).

We got the bike home and he and I set off on a ride. Oh, here's something I learned that I can pass on to anyone thinking of taking up bike riding. When I first started doing my morning bike rides I rode in my regular jeans-and-t-shirt mom uniform. Then my awesome friend Karen (hi, Karen again!) brought me an awesome riding shirt and I made a trek to REI to buy some spandex cycling capris to go with it that make me look super fat (no one looks good in spandex, I don't care how much you weigh), but I don't care, and that's what I've been riding in. At first I felt stupidly overdressed in my fat pants cycling clothes because it's not like I'm super awesome and riding 50 miles a day or anything, I'm just an out of shape mom huffing and puffing my way to the park, but I quickly realized that cycling clothes make a HUGE difference. Last night when I took my ride with Josh I wore jeans and the cuffs kept getting caught on my bike. I was way less comfortable, way more overheated and didn't enjoy the ride nearly as much. So if you're thinking of taking up cycling (and you TOTALLY should!) go buy a good cycling shirt (or find a super awesome friend to give you one) and some fat pants cycling pants. You'll feel silly in them at first but you'll enjoy riding more. Oh, and just so you know, cycling pants have padding in the seat to make it more comfortable to sit on your bike for long periods. It works, but just what you need to feel even MORE sexy in your spandex pants is an extra padded butt, right? It's super awesome. Vogue should be calling me to pose for them any day now.

Anyway, Josh and I took a three mile ride to the park and back last night and he absolutely loved it. He talked about it all night and all morning and was begging to ride his bike back to the park. He's been out on his bike all afternoon. Mission accomplished.

Next up is Matthew. Today we're getting Josh's old bike adjusted for him and then he's going to need some practice before he's ready to speed through the neighborhood. He doesn't have a lot of bike riding experience yet. We'll be working on that this weekend and then FINALLY everyone will have good working bikes and we'll be able to start taking family bike rides. I'm envisioning regular Saturday rides on the Greenbelt and Sunday afternoon rides through the neighborhood. That sounds awesome to me. :)



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