My kids have been dying for a bike. I'm fed up with Wally World bikes that break but have had a hard time wanting to spend top money on a real bike. If someone steals my kids' bikes, I'm out hundreds of dollars. I finally just did it and bought my kids bikes as my son's Target hybrid bike died. He was putting 10 miles a day on gravel/street roads and it couldn't handle the gravel.
I took him up yesterday to a bike shop knowing I'd need to spend way more than I did for my girls and he found one that he wanted. It's a mountain bike with something like 28 inch wheels and as tall as I am, I have to use the curb to get on it.
Of course he wanted us to go bike riding with him, so I grabbed the Target bike and realized it had been 17 years since I've been on a bike. I nearly crash just going down the driveway as I'm wobbling all over. The bike starts weaving down the road and I'm holding on for dear life. There's no "I'm gonna die" handle on a bike and getting off would mean a controlled crash. At least I remembered that the brakes are on the handle and used them. I stopped, nearly went off the bike and felt a stabbing pain down my back and the muscles seized up. The pain went away (maybe the physical therapy is working?) and I kept going.
After a couple of minutes and some serious laughter by my kids, I get the hang of it and follow behind. I soon understood why my son hated the bike. I was wheezing up a gentle hill and hacking going up a larger one. I still couldn't get control of the bike going down and about 10 minutes later my body gave out.
Now I have the problem of getting home. My kids are getting worried so my DD let me borrow her new one and I slowly wheezed my way back. Her bike was much better but it was still hard. I know I'm out of shape, (round isn't considered a shape in fitness) but going up/down some streets should have been much easier.
A couple of hours later, my DS wants to go riding again. He's SO excited about his bike and I was determined to figure out why (other than the crappy bike) I couldn't get up the hills. My other DD has a mountain bike and I stole hers. WHAT a difference between a crappy bike and a real bike. I made it up the hill with ease, went down without nearly crashing and made it around the curve at high speed back into the driveway. This was FUN.
DS wanted me to try his bike out. His bike is huge. Really huge. I get on via the curb and start going. The bike moved with ease and grace even more than my DD's smaller one. I couldn't believe that a bike this big could move so fast. The stability was incredible and the speed was a true high as I went down the hill, turned the corner and went back into the driveway.
Ya'll realize that I paid for this "fun" as I'm pretty sore today. BUT, surprisingly it's a good feeling. I used mucles that help stabilize my lower back and I don't feel so "round" today.
I've thought about getting a bike, but would I really use it enough to justify 600+ dollars? My son hates going by himself and walking up and down the road is plain boring other than I use my Bluetooth headset to talk to DH as he drives home from work.
The one thing is that my son really needs a helmet and reflective gear as he's going down highways where cars are going 60mph. If he's truly taking this seriously, he has to have a helmet. No questions asked.