First Bike – First Blog!

Giant Cypress (Black/Gray)

This is my first public online blog so I figured that start off by talking about my new Giant Cypress (Black/Grey) bike. As I get more comfortable with the whole blogging thing, I will post more stuff of substance. For now, this bike is really a big deal for me.

I am 41 years old and I haven’t owned a bike…. ever. I’ve always borrowed bikes from friends but never owned one. Living in New York City for most of my life, taking mass transit to get anywhere was good enough for me. Only on one occasion I remember riding my friend’s bike all through upper Manhattan amidst traffic. That was a lifetime ago. The thought of doing so now only fills me with dread as the streets are more congested and dangerous then they were in my youth.

To its credit however, New York City has done a tremendous job at expanding their bike routes, paths and lanes all over the city and making them safe. I recently picked up a bike map and discovered that we have over 620 lane miles all over the five boroughs. Streets are now bike-friendly, contain various parking racks and shelters, and allow ease of commuting between work and home. Now is a great time to own a bike in NYC! I’ve been to Paris many times and have seen how the French manage to make it work.

Then there’s the issue of my health. I’ve packed on a few pounds and I want to find something to do that’s healthy and fun, enabling me to lose the weight. What better way to do it than to ride a bike? I’ve been pouring over the web looking for bike sites (bike 101, safety, maintenance, routes/trails, maps, etc.), making my transition from a complete newbie to a well-informed rider. I plan to go out with the family and make it a regular weekend excursion.

Here are some useful sites that I found very informative for the beginning rider in NYC:

http://www.nycbikemaps.com/
https://www.nysdot.gov/modal/bike
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bikemain.shtml
http://www.transalt.org/resources/maps

At first glance, the bike appeared very large but the expert folks at County Cycle Center (970 McLean Avenue) in Yonkers instantly selected this bike for me after giving me the quick one over. It’s a medium-sized bike with an 18 inch frame (I measured it today after seeing how it was done on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsepwlfQcDA). When I first got the bike I went out riding with my wife at a bike path between 9A and the Saw Mill in Yonkers. She has a folding bike, the Giant Halfway, and together we spent a good hour riding down the path. The ride was comfortable and smooth (with a few bumps along the path). I haven’t been on a bike in over 7 or 8 years so after I was done, I was a little sore. The next day I had a lower back pain which I attribute it to lack of lower back strength. Since then I’ve been doing a couple of suggested exercises and trying to pace myself on the time spent on the bike. Should the back problems persists, I will have to take the bike back in to have it adjusted.

In all, I am very excited about this bike. It will allow me to go out and get in shape and participate with my family on a fun outdoor activity.

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