Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cycling and Learning to Rollerblade

 This week I have been bike riding three times, just to work in some exercise. It's been a long time since I used my bike, and it was a really nice way to get around. Plus I got to use my heart rate monitor a bit!

I was without a helmet for a very long time, so I headed over to a few places to check them out. At Mountain Equipment Co-op, there were lots of cool designs, and great prices (think $35 and up!) however because I have a gargantuan noggin, there were no helmets on the shelves that would fit me.

I then started home, and passed a new bike store on the way, so I pulled over. It was a great store for bikes, but he had no helmets in stock yet! Ooopsy! I ran my kiddo over to his Jeet Kune Do lessons, and on the way back I tried to stop in at Broadway Cycle, but I had missed closing time by a few minutes. 

The next day, Saturday, I decided to check out a new little place called My Roll Life, a niche rollerskate store in the west end of Toronto. And then I saw it...the wall of helmets!

Actually, there were two walls, but this was the first one that I saw. The gentleman working was really, really helpful and laughed at and with me about how rotund my head is. (I could put some of the XL helmets on, bend over so my head was upside down, and not have it fall off. Hahaha!) I ended up getting a Smiths Scabs Safety Gear helmet, black with blue straps. And then I decided to get a bunch of rollerblading pads (elbow, knee, wrist) for the roller blading lesson I was planning on attending the next day. One thing I have always wanted to do is learn how to roller blade.

The guy was SUPER patient with my pickiness, and I ended up with Triple Eight wrist guards, which I loved because it has three straps you can adjust, not the uncomfortable slide-on sleeve design. I also got some Capix elbow and knee pads. These things are SO crazy. I can drop my full weight onto one knee, and not feel anything but the squishy, fuzzy sensation of "landing on a care bear." And yes, I stole that phrase from the guy who was helping me.

So today, Sunday, a friend and I headed out to a class run by Stephen Fisher, an all-around nice guy and very patient instructor. I did a lot better than I thought I would, and I chalk that up to ice skating when I was a kid. I had to remember to do the left side oblique crunches and toe raises before starting, as prescribed by my Muscle Activation Therapy guy, but I did them and off I went!

We went to a city arena, which is smooth and easy to learn on. At one point, a pretty sketched out shirtless guy wanted to come into the rink too, and he was so twitchy we thought "no" would not be received well, so we said "yeah, go ahead man" and stayed away from him. He ran around the west end of the rink, yelling, screaming and singing, then just as abruptly he left. Bizarro.

I'm looking forward to the next lesson, which will be next Saturday. That will give me more time to work on getting back into the self-defense course on Sunday afternoons. My goal for the end of the summer/beginning of fall is to be able to go along the waterfront trail.

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