I was pleasantly surprised to learn, via Facebook, that someone I know who has not ridden a bike in more than a decade has started to cycle, a bit, again.
Well, bravo. Welcome to the biker universe. As a long-time resident of this existence, pleas indulge me as I offer some advice.
First of all, take it easy. I know that your legs were in pain following your first ride. One of the prime rules of biking is that it only has to be as vigorous as you make it—it’s OK to go slow. Even a slow biker will get around amazingly quick compared to a pedestrian, and you don’t need to compete with the gazelle bikers out there.
Second, get a light. Even if you don’t ever plan to ride in the dark, it’s a good idea. The days are drawing short, and sometimes even clouds can made a light a good idea.
Third, keep it up. Biking is like anything. I bet it will grow on you. You’ll start to notice the trees, the little houses or lawn ornaments you used to pass by in a car without seeing. Biking means being out in the world, and the world is an interesting place.
Fourth, don’t let jerks discourage you. Sooner or later, probably sooner, these days, you’ll encounter a rude driver who might shout something or zoom angrily by you. Well, even an interesting world has its percentage of jerks. I would hope you choose not to let them have any impact on you.
Fifth, don’t let yourself discourage you. The sore legs will heal. If you keep biking, it won’t be long before the legs are not sore anymore.
Well, that’s it. Somehow, I doubt this new rider will be doing RAGBRAI any time soon. Then again, I didn’t think I would do RAGBRAI either, and I was wrong.