I got the bike out of the basement this evening to go to an arts festival committee meeting in Hoover Point.
I've been taking the car to the Wednesday meetings, but since gas is now past $3 a gallon, I'm trying to use the bike more. I'll be taking it to Bible study tomorrow night too. It's a great feeling, but I honestly can't believe how out of shape I've become in the past several years. I used to commute to Hillsborough, about 15 miles away from here, on my bike back when I was the editor of the the local newspaper there.
It was an odd feeling at first, being back on the bike after about four years off it. I was a little unsteady with my balance, and kept braking because I would wobble when I went too fast. When I got down to the highway, I walked it across and then rode on the bike path that goes through the park by the river. That was a nice trip, and even though it was a little off-roadish at a few points, I did all right.
Actually, the whole trip went pretty smoothly. There were a few points where I felt a little tight up against the cars in traffic, but I never had to get off the bike and walk it up the hill like I had to do back in college when I rode up the hill past the AGD house toward Easton Hall. Despite leaving the house only fifteen minutes before the meeting started, I managed to get there just five minutes late, maybe less, and before the meeting had even started.
I was a little winded, but not worn out. This is definitely something I need to do more of. Plans call for using the bike to make trips to the supermarket for one or two items, to Target for a couple returns and to buy a bike lock, and other short trips around town. I'm trying to figure out a way I can use the bike to get Evangeline to school in the morning so we can save the gas there too, since the trips to her school and Rachel's preschool are likely to be our biggest regular gas uses.
Thankfully, I didn't take a spill on my bike this time, and I didn't have any near-death experiences either. (That's what the next few months will be for.)