Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kristin Becomes a Commuter

Here is the first post from our Go By Bike winner:

There goes my manicure

One of the first things my spouse said to me when I explained that I would be commuting by bike to work, yoga and for the occasional errand was "you're screwed." It's true. I'm screwed.

My neighbor chided me with “you and you’re manicured nails are going to commute to work?” Well, yes, we are. I have quite a girly streak, but lucky for me there are accessories in bike riding. Lots and lots of accessories…some of them are even pink.

I just got my bike from High Gear in La Vista, NE (a town also referred to jokingly by it's residents as "The View"). I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I can hardly figure out the lock, let alone the bike rack on my car and the millions of other things one needs to know in order to be a cyclist—or something of the sort.

It’s hard to think of myself as a cyclist. I’m a 36-year-old mother of two, an artist, a social worker, grant maker, a bit of a radical at heart and I love music. Cyclist has not been on the list for nearly eight years.

As exciting as it is to “win” something, this feels awkward and potentially burdensome. My body hasn’t been the same since giving birth to an 11-pound baby boy three years ago and now I’m going to make my way through mid-town Omaha to get from 50th & Cuming to 36th & Farnam. This is truly nuts. I’ll be lucky if I don’t get killed.

My knight in shining armor has been Miah Sommer, HighGear’s store manager. He’s a sweet and funny proud new papa (I got to see video of his baby) and has made this a more than enjoyable experience. In fact, all of the guys at HighGear (every single one of them cute—I think “good looking” is a requirement to work there) have brought a pleasant beginning to this upcoming adventure of mine.

Gladly, I made my first ride to Bikram yoga class on Saturday morning. It took awhile to get organized with a yoga mat in my messenger bag, but I made it. After spending 1.5 hours in a 105-degree room doing rather intense yoga, the way home was a bit more of a challenge. I made it, despite my fatigue and despite being chased by a couple of vicious stray dogs.

PS – I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend when I ride. It’s the perfect music to make a middle aged woman feel like she’s in college again!

I’ve decided that I’m using my biking experience to take a step away from some parts of this city and move into others. I’m excited about that part of the adventure. About exploring something new every day. I already know that I’m going to have to make peace with hills, flat tires and the wind.


C.K. said...

Way to go, Kristin. You make me proud. I just showed Pete and he said if you're interested he can introduce you to some other fun rides. I think we should pack up both families and do the Wabash trail some night. Anything for a tasty marguerita.

Kudos for doing the steam yoga thing. Your friendly couch potato,

Katie said...

You are awesome--I can't wait to see the bike live and in person...