So, what did I do for my birthday this year?
I got a new bicycle!
That is, with a little support from family and friends, who all gave me gift cards to my favorite recreational store, and thanks to my friend, Myrian, who works for REI and shared with me a very nice Friends and Family discount. A heartfelt thanks to all of them for making my dream of riding again come true!
I suppose a little credit is due to my high school blog series, Lightning in a Jar. Because of all the posts I’ve written about my bike-riding days on Long Island, I got the bug to get on a bike again! But, alas, I figured those days were over, seeing how I’m no spring chicken anymore. And that’s a fact!
But then I was talking one day to my young blogger pal, Cappy, who wrote about her own bike-riding adventures, and frankly, she inspired me to get back on a bicycle. The way she put it to me, it’s never too late to rekindle a love for bike riding.
So maybe, just maybe, all the planets were aligned to help make it happen. Needless to say, because of all of the above, I am now the proud owner of an Electra Townie 7-speed, fantabulously and extraordinarily, orange bike! With a matching polka-dotted helmet and bell, to boot!
So, what’s a girl with a new bike, a new helmet, and a new basket to do?
Why, go bike riding, of course!
Which is why, this weekend, fellow enthusiast and great friend, Val, and I went for an excursion around Fiesta Island on Mission Bay. We rode for at least eight miles in blazing hot heat, with temps in the high 80s. Fahrenheit, that is. But what fun it was. Afterwards, we naturally had to reward ourselves with drinks at a nearby hotel. Which made us a bit too tipsy to drive and so we got back on our bikes and rode some more! Check out the photos below!
Doesn’t Mission Bay look absolutely fabulous? A perfect day for a bike ride, if you ask me.
Fellow bike enthusiast and amazing friend, Val.
I wanted to keep riding, but Val said she had a hunch we shouldn’t go any further, and once she has a hunch, there’s no talking her out of it. Sigh. So, she took this picture instead.
We then parked our bikes and strolled into a nearby hotel for drinks the terrace. Don’t our bikes look lovely together? It took us a while to figure out the new bike lock. Anyway, I think my orange bike and Val’s pink one look pretty cool amid the tropical flora.
Val and I downed our drinks in record time while the unrelenting sun beat down on us. Then she had to make a phone call though I don’t know to whom. Afterwards, we were very tempted to sneak into the hotel pool which looked rather refreshing and inviting, but not being hotel guests and not having bathing suits on us, we refrained. Oh, well, maybe next time. 😉
So, when’s the last time you got on a bike? While you’re trying to remember, I’ll leave you with the best bicycle song ever:
Happy belated Birthday Monica. I am so happy you got yourself a bike. Okay so first things first. You look fantastic. I love your purple shoes and the orange bike. Purple and Orange are two of my favorite colors to put together.
What a wonderful way to exercise. I am the only one in my family who does not ride. I am scared. Simple but true. I am trying now because I like to go on rides when they do. I usually run while they ride. It is one of the most fulfilling things in the world – riding a bike, feeling the wind in your face. What lovely photos and such gorgeous weather. I cannot wait to hear more about your bike riding adventures and see more photos.
Thank you, MM! You describe the joy of bike riding so well, but I can’t believe you yourself don’t ride. It’s so much fun! I learned to ride when I was 12, which was considered pretty old for a kid. But it’s really never too old to learn and if I could learn, you can, too. It’s great exercise! Pease, please try it. Have someone you trust, who is patient, teach you.
Monica, I really must. My 10 yr old is actually quite patient with me. I fell when I was younger and what did I do? exactly what they say you shouldn’t. I never got back on my bike. I’m now determined to start.
In my latest post, I gave you and your post on ‘Feeling Sorry for yourself’ a little shout-out 🙂 I truly loved that post.
Thanks, MM. I appreciate the shout-out. I’m glad that post inspired you. Now, get back on the bike! I just went out for a spin, before darkness sets. Just went around in my neighborhood for 20 minutes and it was simply exhilarating!
What a fun post, Monica! I so love your new bike, helmet, and bell, but your purple shoes are to-die-for!! I don’t care how “old” you think you are — it’s NEVER too late to take up something you once loved. And you know what “they” say — you never forgot how to ride a bike. I’m glad you christened it on such a lovely day, in such a beautiful area. I’ve been considering the possibility of getting a bike myself, though I fear I don’t have near enough time or pretty days to ride in!
I feel so “stylish” in my new gear. And those purple shoes are comfy. If you’re thinking about a bike, do it. When I started telling friends I was thinking about it, I was surprised by how many said they’d be interested in bike riding, too. Once I realized there were so many enthusiasts around me, I knew I’d always have someone to go on excursions with. That sealed the deal! We’ve already set the date for our next outing.
I hear orange is the new black 😉 I also like that it’s a ‘girl’s’ bike. The last time I bought a bike (years ago), I went for the girl’s variety. I’d had enough of a previous bike (lightweight, hi-speed, bar across the frame), purchased on the advice a serious cycling friend. It’s supposed to be fun — right? And it is. The moment I first balanced myself on a two-wheeler is forever imprinted in me. Isn’t it that way for everyone?
Deborah, I decided that if I’m going to take up bike riding again, I’m only going to go on designated bicycle trails and I’m going to do in style. So far, I’d say I’m succeeding on the latter. It’s been impossible to avoid cars altogether.
Good for you, Monica. Getting on a bike, like running, is very liberating. I love that free feeling of the wind rushing across your face. Love the bike, too….I’ve long had my eye on a townie.
I agree, Jill. I love the feel of going fast and feeling the breeze. By the way, it’s more doable to get a Townie if you do it around your birthday and drop lots of hints to family and friends that you want REI gift cards for your birthday. Everyone was so sweet about it, so I feel very blessed. 🙂
Just saw you on Facebook w/ that cool bike and helmet, Monica.
you. rock. Xxxxxx
Kim, after I commented on your post about things you’re passionate about, I realized there are a few more things I’m crazy about, too. Like my bike. I just love that it’s orange. I feel so bold when I’m on it.
How cool. What a great way to celebrate and stay fit!
One of the things I love about cycling is you don’t even realize you’re exercising. Not when you’re having so much fun!
I had so much fun riding together on our Electra Townie’s (best bicycle ever!) around the bay! I must say I’m envious of your brand new beautiful orange 7 speed which clearly outshines my old and worn, but truly loved pink 3 speed. And honestly Monica, that helmet of yours would mach ANYTHING! As for that crazy bell, it really works! I’m sure we surpassed the 8 mile an hour speed limit as we whizzed past everyone else on the road. Can’t wait for the next ride! Love the Queen song, its perfect.
Who knows if we were fasster than the 8 mile speed limit, but the point is, it was fun and we didn’t get run over by any of the cars, and we didn’t crash into any pedestrians (though I think I came close). Can’t wait to do it again. I LOVE that Queen song!
Now that is one hell of a bike! I don’t dare let Sara see it or she will want one. Orange is her favorite color! I haven’t been on a bike in nearly a year.
Hugs from Ecuador,
Orange is a fantastic color. One of my favorites and tell Sara I think it would go very well with all the bright colors in your home. I hope post inspires you to get on a bike soon!
Love this post and the photos Monica! And I love the matching pink and orange bikes. I wanna join you two sometime, but I wouldn’t have a matching bike. I am in training to bike around Scotland in April, so need all the help I can get lol! Thanks for the inspiration.
It’s okay if you don’t match, as long as you do come and join us. We’ll have a blast!
That is just awesome! And I am soooo jealous. That is exactly the kind of bicycle I want!! Have fun tootling (not sure if that’s a word anymore!!)!
I think it’s toodling, but either way, the sentiment’s the same. And, I am having buckets of fun. We ‘re doing another excursion in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ll go bicycling in my neighborhood when I can.
What a splendid birthday prezzie (happy belated by the way). I love the orange and your bell and helmet. Lovely place to take a ride. You inspire me!
I’m riding in sunshine with my orange bike and polka-dotted helmet! Life’s good when you’re out on a bike!
Woohoo for the new bike! Love it!
Me, too, Thoughtsy. It’s so cool!
Hahaha, I love Carl’s comment! The bike bell and helmet are the perfect match for such a fun bike!! RIDE YOUR HEART OUT!
I will, Ash. Thanks! I like Carl’s comment, too. Yeah, some biker chick I’d make.
Love the way you celebrated your special day. The happiness just radiates! Happy Birthday, by the way.
Thank you, Debby! I so appreciate the well wishes. Glad you stopped by! 🙂
LOVE your new bike! You look quite stylish with your polka dot helmet, too. So glad you didn’t listen to that voice that said you were too old. Life is so much more fun when we do the things we love.
Shary, I’m glad, too, that I ignored the voice which I listened to for so long. Thank goodness, because now I’m having the time of my life!
mean biker chick – are tattoos next ?
Well, Carl, how do you know I don’t already have a few tatoos? 😉
Your new bike looks fun. I haven’t bought a new bike since the 90’s. I used to do a lot of biking back then. We have great biking trails here in Wisconsin. I haven’t been out in probably eight years or so. The last time I wiped out and thought that’s enough of that. I do have a boys bike and it is a little big for me which may be my problem.
Savvy, I haven’t bought a new bike since the 80s and I got rid of it just after moving to San Diego. I gave it up because of all the darn hills around here. But now I have a new outlook and am determined to get back in the game. It’s a new day!
I am soooo happy for you to rekindle this old love. xoxoxo
Thanks, Jodi! Funny how something as simple as a bicycle can bring such delight into my life. It doesn’t even feel like exercise!
Great exercise biking. You have such beautiful places to ride around on your beautiful orange bike. I ride around our neighborhood a lot and even got a baby seat for GS remembering I rode the girls on the back of my bike up until they were 4 or 5. However, I don’t have a beach nearby…well, 90 miles away. You are going to enjoy this and how wonderful to ride with a friend for company.
I got to admit, Georgette, I feel lucky to live where I do. I can go bike riding pretty much all year long, and I’m only a few miles from the beach and views like this one. It’s such a joy to behold!
That is one bright bike!!!!
I am sure you will have great fun and super exercise.
It might just kick start me to get mine out….
That is a bike that screams happiness and joy and good times. Yes, happiness is an orange bike. And I’m tickled pink because of it!
This is awesome! I’m glad that the two of you got onto those bikes and rode them. The view from Mission Beach is spectacular. Love that combination of clear blue sky, reflecting light off the waters below, and a balmy, sultry kind of tropical feel to all the surrounds. Bike riding within a space like that is simply splendid!
PS: My daughter owns a pink bike and it looks exactly like the one in the photo. The photos are great 🙂
If you’ll notice one side of the bay is nothing but dirt and the other side looks lush. Don’t know why we stopped on the dirt side to take photos but then there you have it. It’s nicer on the other side, though there is more pedestrian traffic, too.