“Like most kids, I rode a tricycle, then a bicycle with training wheels, and finally a regular two-wheel bike–my world had opened up! But as I entered high school, my interest shifted from riding bikes to driving cars.
After I got married to my wife, Linda, we decided that riding bikes would be an enjoyable (and affordable) hobby. So, on our first wedding anniversary, we bought each other 10-speed bikes. We had great fun riding together for a number of years, but eventually the time we had been spending taking rides was traded with time spent raising children and maintaining a household. The bikes ended up hanging in three different garages over the years and were eventually donated to a charitable organization.
A couple of years ago, I retired, quit smoking and gained a few unwanted pounds. So, again, Linda and I found ourselves looking for something we could do together that would be fun, affordable, and healthy. Around the same time, Epic Cycle and Fitness had donated a bike to a fundraising event at the Prevail Crossfit gym where my wife was a member, thereby introducing us to Mike’s shop. So again the decision was made, and Linda and I purchased two bikes to celebrate another wedding anniversary; this time it was our 44th!
With Mike’s help, we chose the Giant Roam & Liv Rove. These hybrid bikes, designed to be ridden on- or off-road, were within our price range, shifted smoothly, and rode comfortably. We loved the bikes and rode about 1,300 miles the first summer and over 2,000 miles the following year.
During that second year, Linda and I decided to add clipless shoes and pedals to improved our cycling efficiency. These pedals allow us to not only push down on the pedals, but also pull up on them. Admittedly, the concept is a little scary at first, since you literally become attached to your bike. After one fall and another close call, we learned to be much more proactive in regards “un”clipping from our pedals. We also learned the importance of helmets–they are a MUST!
We had some other learnings as well, such as the idea that shorts or tights with padding makes longer rides MUCH more comfortable. And unless you enjoy walking your bike, it is best to know how to fix a flat tire and have a replacement tube, tools, and an air supply with you at all times. Linda and I learned this AFTER we had our first flat tire about 2 miles from our car. We have also found it helpful to have a bike carrier that allows us to bring our bikes to trails which are a bit farther from our house. This past January, we used our carrier to take our bikes to Florida where we rode on the Pinellas Trail in 70° weather.
As mentioned earlier, our original hybrid bikes are designed to be driven on- or off-road. Since 95% of our cycling has been on paved trails, we decided we wanted to try road bikes as they are both lighter and faster than our current bikes. So, again with Mike’s help, we selected a Giant Defy for me and a Liv Avail for Linda. We are still getting used to the new bikes, but so far, we are enjoying them and are hoping to ride even more miles this summer than last.
Surprisingly, we have met a number of people around our age or even older on the trails. It seems as if we have all come to the same conclusion: cycling is an activity that provides great exercise (both cardio and strength) with very little impact on joints and is fun to do with others, especially your spouse, children, and grandchildren!
We believe that you are never too old to try something new and look forward to seeing you on the trails this summer.”
-Bill & Linda Young
Have additional questions? Want to talk to Bill & Linda about their experiences? Let us know! Call the shop at 815-679-6334 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange for you to meet them!