Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Pursuit of Badass

In my pursuit of badassery, my first major purchase as an official Floridian was this beauty here


I've never been mountain biking before. When my boyfriend told me about it, I silently called him crazy. But, this is the same guy I told that I would never stop eating meat, never sleep in the woods, and certainly never move out of New York City.

So, I gave it a chance.

We went to Higher Ground, a locally-owned bike shop that touts itself as being the highest bike shop in Florida (though considering that the elevation is still under 400 feet above sea level, I stifle a chuckle). The associate who helped me spent a lot of time asking questions, taking measurements, and pulling down various models for me to try out. It turns out that proportionally I'm more male than female, so female-targeted bikes were taken off the list. (Thank goodness; they were more pricey.) What I liked about this guy was that price was not the concern. He didn't push me to the more expensive options, knowing it was the first time I had even ridden a bicycle since I was 12 or 13 years old. Certainly I had never been mountain biking.

My first trip out was incredible. I whined and moaned a lot about how hard it was; my boyfriend reminded me I needed to shift out of third gear when I was going up steep inclines. Overall though, I had a lot of fun.

And came out of the woods looking like this.


Actually, the second ride was a lot worse since the blood literally dripped down my legs, but since there were no major arteries hit, no infections to speak of, I definitely kept up with it. After three months, I'm still no pro with picking the bike over large logs, but I'm getting better at the trails I'm familiar with.

Last week, I decided to start taking my bike to work with me. The four mile ride to and from work up and down those steep Tallahassee hills was a great workout. For sure, I'd show up to work a little sweaty, but I was prepared with Tom's of Maine deodorant (a placebo, at best) and a fresh change of clothes. Except Friday afternoon, as I was pulling into the driveway after a refreshing post-work ride home, my back tire went flat. No idea why. Not that a mountain bike is really suited for roads, but come on! Thankfully it waited until I had less than a three-minute walk home to explode, but this week, I'm taking the car in with the boyfriend until I can have it replaced.

So much for my eco-consciousness. At least I saved a week's worth of gas!

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