Friday, November 27, 2009

The "Born Again" Moment

Some of you were surprised when I mentioned in a recent post that I only began cycling again in Spring 2009 - so I thought it would be fun to share my "born again" moment. The Co-Habitant and I developed a huge batch of film for one of our art projects earlier this week, and it turned out that one roll contained these pictures from 8 months ago - pictures of my first real bicycle ride after not having cycled in 12 years.

After testing a coupe of bicycles on the premises of local bike shops, we finally took the plunge and rented a his and hers KHS Green, to see how feasible it would be for us to travel by bike round Boston. These shots were taken along the Charles River trail.

It was an unseasonably warm day, and within the first half hour of the ride my jacket was folded up and tucked under the spring on the rear rack. Also within the first half hour of the ride, I knew that this was "it". How could I have lived without a bicycle thus far? And what would I do when the time came to return the rental?

The day after these photos were taken, my search for a new bicycle began in earnest, and that is how this weblog was born: It was initially meant to be a collection of reviews and photos of beautiful, functional bicycles for people with similar skill levels to mine and with the same beginner anxieties. I guess my viewpoint has progressed a bit since then, and I have gotten much more into "cycling culture" than I had anticipated. But still, the whole point of this website is that I am not an expert and do not have a great deal of cycling experience - which hopefully makes me unintimidating and approachable to new readers curious about bicycles.

The Co-Habitant and I had been toying with the idea of bikes on and off for years. But what finally made me start cycling had nothing to do with the practical considerations this involved. It was a result of a very personal, visceral sense of pure joy - which apparently has been captured on film quite nicely! Seeing these shots was a nice surprise; we had forgotten that we took them. And it was especially timely before Thanksgiving, as I am most grateful for the role bicycles have played in my life this year.

Enjoy your week-end, and make sure to feed your bicycles some turkey. They don't like to feel left out!

16 comments:

  1. Your post left out the important detail of explaining how bicycles consume turkey. Otherwise, EXCELLENT! Presumably, you've got few regrets about the need for pure joy...

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  2. Fun and exciting; one of the reasons why I relocated to the Boston area was specifically to make bicycling more than recreational. Where I originated, it was simply impractical to cyclo-commute, run errands, or really do anything on a bike other than cycle for the recreational aspect of it and I often found that, between work and commuting by car, finding time to ride was a difficult factor to contend with. That joy of cycling that you spoke (pun, I am sure) of is what got me on the bike just for the sake of riding; but also what pushed me to want to incorporate it into more aspects of my life. I love cycling, and did not want it to be limited to only doing it occasionally.

    Glad that you started biking again, and it is good that it stuck; ride safe!

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  3. I love the second photo/picture. It clearly shows up your 12-yr 'bike-abstinence' and that you were 'getting' your 'bike-leg' back. :D ;)

    But the joy on your face is very obvious {also 'heartening (cheering),irresistible & infectious' ... you know what I mean!}.

    Cheers to you and Co-Habitant!! ;)

    Lemony

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  4. Very nice pictures, thanks for sharing this.

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  5. that is awesome!! good story and congrats, lovely B+W set too <3

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  6. Thanks for the comments : )

    Lem - Yup, you can definitely see that I am not used to being on a bike and the saddle is way too low!

    Steve A - My bikes like to eat turkey luke-warm, diced into fine cubes. But preferences may vary from bike to bike, and please keep in mind that some bicycles are vegetarian and may prefer bits of pumpkin or fresh cranberries.

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  7. "which hopefully makes me unintimidating and approachable to new readers curious about bicycles...

    I couldn't have described what i love about LB any better myself! I, too, made a return to cycling this year, after about the same length of absence and with many of the same thoughts and reasons.

    Discovering your blog enhanced and accelerated the experience a great deal. Thank you!

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  8. I agree with Mike. I just started cycling this summer. I had had a bike that I only used for little rides on the weekends with the Hubby. He tried to convince me for years that I could ride to actual places on one, but my excuse was I can't ride fast and I don't like to sweat. the same reasons I don't run or jog. Your blog helped me realize I can use a bike like walking and on top of that I don't have to pretend that I don't work in fashion while riding. You're awesome.

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  9. Gorgeous pictures! How special that you have documentation of this beautiful day. I'm totally impressed that you went for a skirt on the first day. At the beginning I thought I could only bike in t-shirts, shorts and sneakers :)

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  10. Wow, thank you for those kind words. I blush and look demurely at the ground in attempted modesty : )

    Dottie - I almost always wear skirts or dresses in "real life", and so for me trying out a bike for real inherently meant trying it in a skirt. I basically knew right away that if I was going to start cycling again, I wanted the kind of bike those ladies in the turn-of-the-century photos rode. They were all wearing Edwardian garb after all! I did some research and learned that a local shop rented out the KHS Green, which is a budget bike with a very classic "loop frame" and is easy to ride in a skirt. And voila : )

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  11. these are gorgeous photos and this blog IS lovely--i found it through let's go ride a bike.
    i am another over-enthused novice (though you are clearly no longer a novice) and totally identify with that i-must-ride-and-cannot-live-without a bicycle moment.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your nice picture and article

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  13. This was fun to read. Whether you've been riding your whole life, or you just picked it up, they can make everyday better...

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  14. Nice story. Interesting. What a beginning to your whole bicycling adventures!

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  15. yeah!

    I love your blog, b/c I feel a kinship even though I didn't realize you and I both started biking around the same time. I love your knowledge and wish I could absorb it all. I am not mechanical and my brain refuses to remember it all. Although slowly things are sinking in like the gearing.

    btw- someday I'd like to email you about bikes as I plan for my own L.B.

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  16. Wow, great story.

    I'm always curious about what's inspired one to be an urban cyclist (or cyclcoholic in my case).

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