So . . . Jill comes home the other day and says she wants to start riding her bicycle to school. Apparently, she read an article in Sinclair Community College’s student newspaper, The Clarion, about a couple of Sinclair professors, Kathleen Gish and Mike Canestaro, who are bicycle commuters. (The article was actually about the annual presentation the two give discussing the benefits of commuting by bicycle.) Even though Jill had missed the presentation, she seemed super excited.
The first thing I thought was, “That’s great. She’ll be reducing our carbon footprint.” It is, of course, a great idea: save the planet while getting exercise and fresh air. The only problem was she did not have a bicycle. I figured we would do some research and then eventually find her a nice bike.
Yesterday, Jill asked me if I would go look at bicycles with her. It kind of surprised me that she wanted to pull the trigger on this so quickly. I wondered whether she had really thought this through. However, being the supportive boyfriend I am, I hopped online and quickly did some basic bicycle research, just so I could have a clue what we should be looking for.
When we arrived at Kettering Bike Shop, Jill already had some idea of what she wanted. The red-headed pixie who helped us seemed knowledgeable and was genuinely friendly. Jill was not looking to spend a lot of money, and, between the two of them, they quickly found just the right bike. Add on a few accessories to make carrying a stack of school books easy and the commute both practical and safe, and we actually got out of there with our arms and legs intact.
Jill was so “gung ho” about her life-style changing decision that she planned on riding her new bicycle to school the very next day. Of course, riding down that big hill from Oakwood to downtown Dayton was going to be the easy part. It is about a five-mile trip, and when her classes are over, she will be facing that same big hill . . . going up.
Don’t get me wrong; Jill is in excellent shape. She runs five miles or so a couple of times a week, and we just ran in the Oakwood “That Day in May” 10K this weekend. Last fall, Jill ran a half marathon almost on the spur of the moment, without a serious training period. There was no question she could do it, but that hill looks really daunting to me.
This morning (after running five miles with our youngest dog, Celeste), Jill was excited to head out to her Tuesday class. Still, I think she was a little nervous; I know I was. About a half hour after she left, I received a text from her: “That was fantastic! Put hedge clippers on the white board.” I was glad she had made it but thought, “We already have hedge clippers.”
When she got home this afternoon, Jill was juiced. It did not take her much longer coming than it did going. Apparently, the hill was tough but not too tough. She said her butt was on fire. Of course, I had to agree. (She loves my little innuendos.) She really did look radiant.
She’s thinking she will even ride her bike to school in the rain. Yes, Jill likes to venture outside her comfort zone. “Who cares about the environment or your health? It’s a lot of fun.” That is practically the same thing Ms. Gish had said in the newspaper article.
Now, after we cooked and consumed one of our favorite meals, “Yummy Kale,” Jill is relaxing in a well-deserved bubble bath. She has found herself yet another way to enjoy life . . . and I am living with a biker chick. That makes me happy too.