When someone asks you if you want a bike, the answer is yes. That’s what I said, with probably more gusto than my uncle was expecting, when he asked me that question. I have honestly been dreaming of owning a bike and getting into that lifestyle for a while, but haven’t been able to find the right one for the right price (slash am too lazy to actually do much of a search).
Richmond is a pretty bicycle friendly city, and there are a lot of people that ride around town either to commute to work or as a form of fitness/leisure. So after my uncle and aunt dropped off the new bike, literally on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to try and fit in with the local scene.
I rode it around the block a little, but didn’t fully test out the waters until after I got my brand spankin new helmet that I got for Christmas. I first needed to pump up the tires before I went on a ride around the city, so I rode over to a friends house to get that taken care of before I was off.
The route I went on was not especially long, but it felt amazing to be zooming along the streets right next to cars and passing measly pedestrians who had to watch out for my path. I finally got back to my apartment and locked up my bike, and was very pleased with how my first ride went. And then I felt my pocket.
I immediately knew my phone, that had definitely been in my pocket when I left, was now somewhere on that loop I had just returned from. So back I went around the loop the exact opposite way I had gone the first time. I went slowly along the route in order to look at every patch of ground that I had covered before. I finally got back to the beginning and decided to do one more once over before I gave up, so I did that loop one more time.
After I came back to the apartment empty handed, my lovely wife reminded me that we could probably find my phone because the internal gps was always on. So we logged into my google account and sure enough, there it was. Somewhere on Grove. So I raced over there and started looking on the road and under parked cars.
As I was laying on the ground looking under the cars, a door opened and I hear a, “Are you Evan?” Turns out that a very nice fellow had found my phone, and had been trying to contact my wife because one of her texts was on the front screen. Anyways, I am very thankful for that guy and that he was actively looking out his window for a random dude laying in front of his house.
But that’s not all. After that first excursion (a couple days later to let the butt soreness ware off) I decided to go on a second ride. This time I was determined to 1: not lose my phone; and 2: ride a somewhat longer distance without doing the same loop 3 times.
It was early in the morning and I was gliding down Cary Street and had gotten all the way to Belvidere. And then I turned the corner and started listening to a “thump, thump, thump”. I looked down and saw that my front tire was flat. I got off and looked at it and sure enough it was completely flat.
So instead of my lovely ride around the city, I got to walk my bike right back where I came from all the way to my apartment. So my first two experiences as a cyclist haven’t been stellar, but I am looking forward to the many more times I get to go out and feel the wind whip through my helmet. Next time I’ll just make sure to bring a spare tire tube and to leave my phone at home.