We had one full weekend with RJ out of town. I decided it would be the perfect time for Hubby and I to rent bikes and hop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I’ve run on part of the trail and we’ve been on the trail with RJ when he was about 3. He rode his tricycle and we walked to keep up. We don’t own bikes, though Hubby has been wanting one for a while now. So, he was down to ride. I’d read this post about places to rent bikes and called Swamp Rabbit Inn to reserve two. The pick-up process was easy. We arrived around 12:30pm. There wasn’t a wait and the pick-up process was fast. The worker provided us with helmets, a map, pointed us in the direction of the trail and we were off on our adventure into the 90+ degree heat. Our plan was to ride to Traveler’s Rest and back. That would have been about 14 miles round trip.
Greenville is a big cycling town. Like it’s serious business here. On any given weekend you are sure to run into a solo cyclist or group riding in their own little Tour de Greenville. George Hincapie, who actually raced in the Tour de France lives in the area. Now, Hubby and I both grew up riding bikes, but for fun. However, he seemed to have retained his knowledge of bike riding more than I had, but more on that later. As for me I grew up riding bikes in the country sometimes on dirt roads. So, I was not a huge fan of having to ride a bike across traffic, which as some points could be up to 4 lanes. Right out of the gate, we had to make our way across car traffic. I wanted to walk the bikes across the street, but Hubby stayed on his seat, so I followed quickly and carefully.
Then, I began to realize I was nervous. My arms were shaking, I was swerving. Let’s not talk about how I barely kept my bike straight when approaching oncoming bike traffic. In other words, I was awful at riding a bike! Meanwhile, I husband looked as if he came out the womb on a 10 speed. I kept it together for the a while, however I was struggling with stopping at intersections and starting again. My restart after our 2nd intersection was a shaky/rocky one, couple that with oncoming bike traffic, me trying to change gears and a fence and I had a recipe for disaster. It turns out, the best way to stop a bike from moving is to press the brake, not grab onto the fence while the bike continues to roll downhill!! I’ll just say my arms have black and blue bruises and luckily my wrist was just sore and not sprained or broken.
Even though I saw my life flash before my eyes, we pedaled on. I continued to have mishaps, riding off the trail, nearly riding into massive holes, but with every mile I got better, less shaky and more in control. We cut our plan to ride to Traveler’s Rest short. It was extremely hot and though we had water with us and refilled along the trail, we’d only had cereal for breakfast. I think cycling 14 miles would have been a bit much. Instead, we rode to the lake at Furman University which made our round trip about 8 miles.
When is the last time you rode a bike or did something you hadn’t done in years?