Today was the first day all week I have been able to get outside for a walk at lunch. I have been in full on multi task mode since Monday. I have two people I am training, and on top of it, a timeline was moved up a month on some revamped job aids. This meant while the “new kids” were doing class exercises I was cranking out deliverables.
This morning I finished the last one. “YAY! I can escape outside!” Better yet, Michelle came with me! Perfect! Except, the husband that my wife refers to as a mole forgot his sunglasses.
Why does she call me a mole? Its because if I am outside, either walking or driving between sun up and sun down. I have sunglasses on. Ran, cloudy or bright sun. I see better with them on, and I have become sensitive to the light.
This started me thinking about all the things I NEED now when I bike.
Remember when we were kids? Hell all we needed were the two wheels and pedals. Half the time I was riding bikes without brakes, and didn’t care. I usually had a hat on, but it was one like this; because I liked hats, not for protection or sun.
Now however, things have changed! I need MUCH more to be comfortable while riding. Maybe its a sign of getting older, or just more experienced, but here are the things I need for a good ride.
1. Glasses: Sunglasses in the daylight and clear ones at night. Over time, my eyes have gotten sensitive to more than just light. I love the wind in my hair and my face. But in the eyes makes them water something fierce. Plus I HATE getting a bug in the eye! This is why I keep emergency glasses at work in case I forget them at home. ( I never had them as a kid. Maybe there are more bugs now)
2. Gloves: As a kid our hands never got cold on a bike nor did we feel any vibrations. Now? I feel both. I have cold weather and wet weather gloves. These have no padding, but I stay warm during the winter and spring months. When it gets nicer, I have the full finger and fingerless gloves with lots of padding. It makes the long rides less damaging to wrists and hands.
3. Padded shorts/Gel seat: OK I admit it I have a tender tush. But come on, after 100 or 200 miles in the saddle, anyone’s butt will get sore. Having the extra cushion can make all the difference in the world between having fun, and giving up. The gel seat was the first thing I replaced on the new bike. The stock seats are torture devices.
4. Clipless Shoes: For 48 years and the over 10000 miles (that I tracked on the old bike) I rode with tennis shoes and flat pedals. Honestly I was a little afraid to switch to my clipless pedals. I saw too many people fall over. Now, I HATE not having them. The ride is faster and smoother and I can go farther. I have fallen, but thats the hazards.
5. Helmet: Now a days it seems silly to list this, but back in my younger years I didn’t wear one. Hell I am not even sure the HAD bike helmets when I was a kid. I started wearing one to set the good example for my kids. Now, 20 years later, it just feels weird to ride without one, even just to the neighborhood store.
6. Odometer/Speedometer: I don’t have a GPS, but I want to know how fast I am going and how far I went!
They say life gets more complicated as we get older. It almost looks like cycling does as well. I prefer to look at it a different way. My dad always told me to try to work smarter not necessarily harder. So instead of riding more complicated, I look at it as riding better!
Regardless, I still ride because it is fun! So if this stuff makes it more fun, then I have no problem making sure I have it all!
OH! And pasta dinner made by Michelle at the end of the ride is the perfect ending!!
Thanks for visiting