Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bike Riding

Or maybe I should title this post "Unflattering picture of happy, proud Kat."

At some point in my childhood, all my friends started riding bikes that had the seat level with the handlebars. I did not like how this felt and so stopped riding bikes altogether. I think I was about 12 years old. I tried once more when I was about 15 and visiting my Aunt and her family in Oregon. I actually started to cry I hated it so much.

I've noticed several people in the past few years riding bicycles that allowed them to sit upright. Hmmmm .... This is especially prevalent in the Netherlands (my friend says Dutch people are born riding bicycles). I've been thinking that I would like to try riding again ... upright.

While we were in Killarney, I wanted to go out to the Muckross house which is in the Killarney National Park. The house is about 5 km from town. This is, of course, walkable. But we had limited time (we needed to catch an afternoon bus back to Cork). I surprised Arlo by suggesting that maybe we could rent bicycles and ride out there.

I made the bike rental guy lower my seat ... he thought I was nuts. This wasn't optimal since the bike was not made to be ridden this way. My butt was too close to the pedals which put some strain on my knees. This made going uphill quite difficult as well. But I was nearly upright and so much happier. I didn't like riding in the street but I was comfortable on the dedicated bike lanes and once in the National Park where there were no cars.

We ended up riding about 17 km. I'm not sure my sit bones will ever recover. I loved that we could see so much more than if we were walking. For instance, it would have been quite a long day to walk out to this waterfall:

Perhaps when we get back to the States I can find a touring bike that is actually meant to be ridden upright.

2 comments:

Renee said...

17K! Sounds like fun exercise. :) Wish I could have gone with you two.

Jenny M said...

I sit upright on my bicycle. I can't do the bendy over thing; it hurts my back. This isn't my bike, but it's got similar handlebars.

http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2005/09/24/289689/CR36V450_2.jpg

I can't find any photos of them, but they also sell handlebar extenders. D was thinking about getting some.