Saturday, May 12, 2007

Get that 40+ year-old body into shape!

One of the things I've always enjoyed about summertime is the chance to get some exercise on a bike.

When I was younger, a friend of mine and I used to love to take long bike rides during the summer months. A couple of times we rode 30 miles or so in one day just to be able to say "we did it". (of course a couple of girls at the end of those rides were certainly "motivating factors". :)

During those days, the bike of "choice" was a good 10-speed. Mine was a Huffy, with a denim seat and denim wrapped handlebars. These bikes were built for racing and NOT designed for comfort. The handlebars (ram-like) forced the rider into a back-breaking position.

Once I married (some 20 years ago), my wife and I purchased matching bikes. During that time, mountain bikes were just becoming popular. We enjoyed riding these bikes, and added all the "accessories" (child trailer, goose-neck tandem child seat, etc.) that a growing family needs. Although more comfortable than a 10-speed, the mountain-bikes still were not the most comfortable for an ever aging body.

No....I longed for the days when riding a bike was fun, and comfortable. The times when one could spend an entire afternoon on a bike and your tailbone would never "scream" back. Back then, I had a Schwinn Stingray. You know the type, ape-hanger handlebars, a banana seat, and a nice wide racing slick on the rear. Dad bought mine used. When we brought it home, it had an orange, metal-flake paint job. I didn't have it too long before my father customized it. Since it was right around the time of the bicentennial, and Evel Knievel was "king", dad gave it a nice white paint job, a red/white/blue banana seat, and some custom pinstriping on the chain-guard. I don't have any pics here, but today I did a google search and found a pic of a bike that is VERY close (minus the goofy streamers and discs in the spokes.) the frame color and seat are DEAD ON!

Well...welcome back from nostalgia lane to the 21st century...were the body is now 40+ years old and the tailbone an back do not enjoy being contorted into strange and unusual riding positions. I've been wanting to get a new bike that is very comfortable to ride, but a 40 year-old man on a Schwinn Orange Crate just looks ridiculous! (See photo)

So...I've been checking out some companies that make some pretty cool cruisers! Places like Dyno and Nirve both have websites with a variety of cruisers. Everything from Tiki, to Salt-flats, to hotrod themed bikes. I would like to purchase something in the near future so that I can get my 40+ year-old booty back into some kind of shape so that I will be able to enjoy the rest of the time with my kids at home and one day my grandkids.

I've provided links to a couple of websites below. ENJOY!