Albuquerque · cycling · Fitness · Running

Cross-Training the Fun Way

I have a question for you: when was the last time you rode a cruiser?

Not a motorcycle or a souped-up car. THIS kind of cruiser:


A while back, my sister and brother-in-law gave me this bike, and I wrote about it here.

I was so excited to have it! It was a cruiser, just like I wanted. It was purple, just like I wanted. It had a basket! It even had a “water” bottle holder!

I loved that bike. I named her Jensie, after the [male, yes] rider Jens Voigt. Jensie and I enjoyed fun adventures on a fairly consistent basis…for a while. Then things began to encroach on our time together: running, my budding relationship with Robin Hood, life in general.

I kept Jensie, refusing to give her up. She has stood in the garage, leaning on her kickstand, waiting patiently for me to dust her off, put some air in her tires, and let her out again. Waiting, waiting…

Until now!

Robin Hood now has a bike, thanks again to my sister and brother-in-law.


It’s not a cruiser, but it’s a cool bike nonetheless. I’m thinking of naming it “Jan” after Jan Ullrich, because then we would have Jan & Jensie and I’m doing a gleeful dance just thinking about that, but I suppose I should get Robin Hood’s input first.

I suppose.

The point is, we both have bikes now, and we went on our first-ever ride together this week.

And we still like each other!

I felt a tiny bit of trepidation as I snapped my helmet on and rolled Jensie out of the garage, but mostly I was excited. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, meaning not a lot of vehicular traffic to contend with. More importantly, it’s flat. Prime cruising country!

After a few warm-up rides up and down our street, we felt bold enough to – !!! – go around the corner.

It was a big deal for me.

We ventured further into the neighborhood, riding carefully on the right side of the street. A couple of cars rolled by without incident. I let myself coast a little and felt the breeze on my face.

Yep, it’s definitely been too long since I’ve ridden a bike.

Our (read “my”) confidence somewhat inflated, we decided to ride along the perimeter of the neighborhood. That perimeter parallels a rather busy road, and while there is in fact a lovely paved path to ride on, you have to, you know, turn to get onto that path.

My approach was beautiful! The turn started off so well! Then, before I knew it, I was going too wide, too wide, and stopped just in time to avoid coasting directly into traffic.

Maybe this is why I’ve never gotten that invitation from the Tour de France?

I did my best to shake off my shaken-ness, and climbed back on the bike. I couldn’t end my comeback ride on that note! I pedaled up the path, made a few more careful turns, and finally came to a delicate stop at our driveway, with Robin Hood right behind me. I ended the ride a little wiser, but I remembered that breeze on my face.

Oh, there will be more of this.


4 thoughts on “Cross-Training the Fun Way

  1. Cruisers are one of the main methods of transportation here in New Orleans, especially if you live downtown which is really the French Quarter. Don’t forget one thing… a good helmet. 🙂

  2. I bought an adorable bike (with a pink basket that I had added to it of course) a few years ago….unfortunately I only ride it a few times a year…. this is a good reminder to do it more often!!

  3. Wow Jan Ullrich! Haven’t heard that name in a while. Great rider. One of my favs though it appears he was like all the rest in the “doping” era of the Tour de France. I have a vintage ’64 cruiser I ride along Tramway. I get lots of funny looks riding that thing. 🙂

  4. I love this. N’s dad got me a bike a year ago. I’ve taken it out maybe 3 times. I really need to try again, but I am just so apprehensive about not being the most confident rider. Maybe I should try again this weekend after the garage sale.

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