Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cycle Addiction and Enablers

Maybe instead of "enablers," I mean "pushers!" I am so lucky to have become completely addicted to bicycling (no, really, it's all I think about) and even luckier to be surrounded by such wonderful bicycling friends. I am having a BLAST!

First off, did I show you my new baby? I don't think I did. Lance Armstrong found him for me on craigslist the other day. I'm now a two-bike woman:

Aw, who's a pretty baby? Who's a pretty baby?
I had no business buying a second bike, especially so soon after buying a first bike, so the only explanation I can offer is that this is what addicts do. I had sort of only intended to try out the road bike. I haven't been on one since I was a kid. This was a good one, and it was made for super shorties like me. I say "sort of only intended to try" because I stopped at the cash machine on the way down and got out $400, one hundred dollars less than a fair asking price. So I tried the bike and in 1.5 seconds I knew I needed to have him. Needed. (Addict, see?) I offered the guy $400, to which he flatly refused. He paid over $900 for it less than three years ago and his wife rode it once. Deeeeeeeeep sigh. I found $22 more in my wallet*. He very begrudgingly sold it to me. I was so lucky, because I was the first to call on it and the first to see it. He didn't want to sell it for less than $500 (which I am told was a fair price) but I convinced him that not having to meet anyone else must be worth $78. (*I actually took out $420 from the cash machine and put $400 in my pocket and $20 in my wallet - along with the typical big bucks I usually carry, haha. So when I offered to buy it, I took out the four hundred dollars cash and said I would buy it right now for $400. He wanted to sell it. Wouldn't you when you're looking at a wad of bills? But he didn't want to go so low, so I said, "Well, let me look and see if I have any more in my purse." So I went to my car and brought out my purse and "found" the $22 bucks. I told him, "I'll give you everything I have, but that's all I've got." It was all very strategic, haha. I'm surprised he didn't give me the used car salesman line of "Okay, but I'll be eating rice and beans for a week." But the clincher was, as with any purchase, you have to be willing to walk away. It would have killed me, but if he wouldn't have sold it for $422, I would have walked away - which is why I only took out $420, so I didn't collapse and throw $500 - $600 at him just so I could have the bike I wanted so badly, haha!)

Here's my rougher-tougher baby. We need bike names now.
I could name the bikes after the two men in my life who found them for me, haha. They were competing for my affections of their type of biking over the other, with grudging respect for the opposite. Grudging. Both boys are super-serious-really-really-dedicated to their sports. Really, boys, there's enough bike love for me to go around...I guess I had deeper pockets than I thought, 'cause here I am with two craigslist bikes. And I love them both enough to marry them! (The bikes, not the boys.)

My mountain biking friend has been a huge cheerleader for me to start riding. He urges me to go on the bike group rides, he talks me into trying more adventurous routes and distances, etc. That was in the early addiction days. Now he listens to me talk ENDLESSLY about my next ride or whatever cycling thing is on my mind. There's always something. It's the addict in me.

And how happy am I to have reconnected with Susanne from Tummy Like a Banana?? Susanne and Sheila were my two very first blogging friends when I started on my own WLS journey. When Susanne sort of faded from blogging, it was because she had thrown herself headfirst into a cycling addiction of her own. I had greatly enjoyed reading her posts about her new cycling adventures, but in a "hmm, bicycling, that's interesting...for you, maybe" sort of way. You know, when you're happy your friend found an interest, but you don't think it's one you'd share. I felt that way about Kim and her running forever. :) Yes, yes, buddy, go run. Fascinating.

And then you get into the addiction yourself. I was thinking of it today like this. I never used to have a passion. You know, when someone asks you what your passions are? Generally on an online dating site questionnaire, haha. Oh, I don't know. My kids. That's about all I could muster. A coworker here is into Search and Rescue, that's a passion. There's a SCUBA diver. A world traveler. Me, I like watching Dexter.  I was game for generally any activity (not usually of the physical exercise variety, though, haha). Road trip, winery tour, whatever.

Passions. Now I gots me some passions. I am still lumping running into this, although I consider myself on the wary-injured list. (Although, did I tell you I am doing PT 2x/wk until the Snohomish River Run on 10/28? This half marathon will be completed, I tell you. My PT says that I should have come in at least four weeks ago, but he's working with what he's got.)

Cycling. It's all I think about! I lost my train of thought, though. I had gone back through and devoured all of Susanne's old blog entries about cycling and was eating them up, having experienced so many of the same feelings myself. All the excitement, all the fun! Then Sheila emailed me and said, "hey, you should get in touch with Susanne, it would be fun for you guys to talk about this together." Well, duh! I emailed Susanne and we have been happily buzzing back and forth with lots and lots of talk of cycling and all its related goodness, including cute boys in bicycle clubs. You know I'm lookin', haha.

Today I had lunch with my good friend T, who I know to be a cyclist - one of the "out of my league" variety. No way, she says! She is super stoked to start riding with me, her husband doesn't ride and she sort of fell off doing it. But she did the STP:(Seattle to Portland) last year and she loves riding! We are going out for a long ride next Sunday. I've been barraging her with other riding opportunities, like the CBC STP Training Series, and she's totally on board to come along. HOW EXCITING!!

Next year, I've got plans:
- I am doing a triathlon. Because I'm a strong swimmer, I'm not afraid of swimming in lakes (a lot of people are, you know!) and if I'm already running and biking, well, I just feel obligated to do a triathlon.
- Maybe the STP? Everyone should do it once.
- More interestingly, I'm looking at these very fun 4-day cycling tours around the region.
- And there's tons and tons of one or two day type cycling events around here. Races and rallies and treks, OH MY! Count me in!!

(umm, apparently in 2013 I plan on becoming quite wealthy, and either child-free or my children will have to jump on the cycling-addiction train, haha)

So, you know I'm having my tummy tuck surgery on 11/12. I am very, very excited about it. Plan on having to look at lots of pictures of my bare midriff. I've already made you look at my nekky "before" picture, and you don't wanna see the one that I've made Kim and Tina look at, haha. Talk about proving my case for the need for plastic surgery! (It's a forward-bend picture, and it'll make your eyes bleed.)

Here's how addicted to cycling I am. I am already very put out about how long the surgery will keep me off my bike. Really rather vexed about it. I've become so exercise-enamored that I am taking brisk walks at lunch just for the heck of it. I'm not trying to lose weight (well, I am beating down the scale a little bit), I am getting plenty of exercise on my bike, and still, I'm just out there whoring for endorphins. :)

Sooooooooooo fun.


  1. Way to negotiate!! lol. I need to bring you on my next craigslist buy. ;)

  2. Put down the kool aid girl. Yowza!

    I am excited for you and your new addiction. I can't believe how fast you landed on a tri. Girl, crazy, totally crazy. You win.

  3. See I *knew* you and Susanne were just made to talk biking to each other. LOL! So wait you now have 2 bikes? Is one mountain and one street? I'm guessing you could always say that your daughter could use one to alleviate any guilt. :-)

    Oh and you are quite GOOD and calculating there with that $422 being your final offer. HA! Well played Julie, well played.

  4. I love your negotiating comment more than anything -- not having to meet any one else is surely worth $78. :) Oh yes, indeed, it is!

  5. I hope you know JUST how happy this post makes me because yesterday, when I was replying to your email, I wanted to say "We should cycle together", but I knew you only had a mountain bike, and I only have a road bike.

    Ha! The jig is up. You had better prepare for some more cycling friends come spring.. :)