I love to ride my bike, but for some reason hate getting ready to ride my bike. It seems to take me on average about 45 minutes, half an hour if I rush; from the time I decide to go for a ride, to actually walking out the door with my bike.
If I procrastinate over getting out for a ride, it is never over actually riding, but because of this chore of getting ready. How long does it take to throw on a jersey and a pair of shorts, you may ask?
The first thing I do is pump the tires up, check for cuts, and give the bike a quick look over. Then fill two large water bottles with filtered tap water, and place them on the bike.
Then I get dressed, shorts, jersey, socks, that is relatively easy. I don’t put my shoes on until the last minute otherwise I am likely to slip on the kitchen or bathroom floor and fall on my arse.
I have done this on a few occasions, hurting nothing but my pride, but the thought that I could do myself serious injury makes me cautious.
Next I stuff my pockets. A multi Allen wrench, wrapped in a shop towel, and a hard plastic case which houses my cell phone. It is actually a plastic traveling soap case that I found at Target; it keeps the cell phone dry and protects it if I should fall. This is most likely when I would need a cell phone, and a broken one would not be much use.
I used to carry my wallet, until I read in the local paper that a man got robbed on the bike path I ride on, so now I just carry a photo copy of my driver’s license as ID, with relevant phone numbers written on it. If I were intending to go on a long ride, I would take some cash or a debit card.
I often take a banana with me, just in case I decide to ride a few extra miles. I think bananas are the ideal cyclist’s food. The perfect size and shape to fit in the back pocket, and the skin is nature’s own wrapper that is biodegradable.
Can it be I am almost ready, put my helmet on. No, wait I have to change my glasses, I have a special prescription pair for riding, with clip on sun glasses. Invariably they are covered in sweat from my last ride; I go to find the lens cleaner. Will I ever get out of here?
Okay, sun glasses on, can’t see a bloody thing; stumble to the bathroom. For some reason I can’t put a helmet on without the aid of a mirror.
Gloves and shoes on, am I finally ready? I know I am forgetting something; my bike is in one hand and the other is on the door knob. I stand there and do a mental check.
Sunscreen.....I forgot the fucking sunscreen. Off come the gloves, helmet and glasses; Go find the sports spray, quick once over on my arms and legs, that doesn’t take long. However, I can’t use it on my face as it says to keep away from the eyes.
Back into the bathroom, almost slip and fall on my arse, ‘cos now I’m wearing my cycling shoes with the cleats and hard plastic soles. Squeeze some different sunscreen from a tube and apply to my face, ears and the back of my neck.
Glasses, helmet and gloves back on, pick up my door key. Look up at the clock; forty-five minutes, just like I told you. Step outside and the heat and humidity hit me. I feel like I have just stepped into a bowl of hot cream of mushroom soup.
The summers here in South Carolina are brutally hot; it is important I get out as early as possible. Afternoon temps get to 90F or a 100F (32C to 38C) with the humidity anywhere from 80 to a 100%. Anyone who says you don’t need special clothes to ride a bike are welcome to do so. Not me if I’m riding more than an hour.
I look down at the bike, it needs a clean. Did I tell you, I also hate cleaning the bike, but I love to ride my bike