Let it Ride

Ah, how I love riding my bicycle, it’s my favorite form of exercise ~ pedaling, gliding along, free, the wind in my hair…

I’ve strayed quite a bit from riding it regularly though since moving back to the city.  Mostly because it’s not as relaxing to ride it amidst all the crazy traffic, but also because my knees have gotten so bad that they’re really pained afterward.  Not to mention I’ve been busy with other things and just haven’t made it a part of my regular routine.  But that’s all about to change…

I hope.

I did some riding last summer looking for a route on the city streets with less traffic where I could ride comfortably, and I did find some quiet side streets, but the scenery wasn’t all that great.  Where I really want to ride is by the water.  The Mississippi River is only 4 blocks from my house, but there is a busy street that runs along it, so even though it’s by the water, it’s anything but relaxing with all the traffic.  There’s a bike path on the other side of the river, but I’d have to go up a monstrous hill over a bridge that would kill my knees, and walking my bike up over it would be worse, as walking hurts my knees even more.  So I’d most likely need to put the bike rack on the back of my truck, throw my bike up on that, and then drive over it.  Bothers.  If I have to use my bike rack (which is a hassle all in itself) and drive someplace, I’d rather drive a bit farther and ride my bike around the Lake of the Isles.  It’s round, so there’s no backtracking (I hate backtracking, just ask my sister), it’s flat, so there’s no knee killing hills, there’s a designated bike path, so there’s no traffic to contend with (except to drive there), and it’s a lovely area.  I used to take my daughter there in her stroller when she was a baby and walk the dogs around it every day.  Ah, such precious memories.  ❤

But ideally, I’d really rather set out on my bike directly from the house, and not use the gas to drive somewhere to ride, so I’m going to keep looking for a bike path to hook up with that runs along the river ~ or maybe find a bridge to cross with less steep of a hill.  I’ve also been thinking more about riding my bike to run short errands instead of driving as well, and I bought a little basket to attach to my handle bars to use for carrying things picked up on small errands.  Of course, there I’d definitely have to contend with traffic in coming and going, but I wouldn’t be out riding for pleasure at those times anyways, so I’d just deal with it.

What is hard to deal with though is my painful knees.  I had to bring my bike into the bike shop last week to have my back tire fixed, and I got to talking to one of the guys there about my knees, he suggested a different style of bike that might be easier on them ~  Fuji’s Barnebey 7 LS.  It’s not the most attractive looking bike, but I took one for a test ride and it rode like a dream, and didn’t pain my knees at all.  But whoa was it ever expensive ~ over $400!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $400 just laying around to spend on a bicycle, and it would be difficult to justify, especially when I already have a bike.   But I really want to incorporate riding my bike more often into my life, and with these knees… I need one more suitable.  So I am contemplating trying to rearrange my funds a bit to see if I could come up with the money.  My birthday is only a month away, so maybe I could hint around to a few family members to help.  😉

Regardless, I’m going to keep trying to get out there on my bike, even if I have to overly pace myself as to not injure my knees.

“Try, try, try.  Let it ride.”  


I snapped this photo of my bike in front of a cool mural that’s painted on the side of a building down the street from our house while out riding with my daughter the other day…


Looks like a nice flat riding surface with no traffic.  If only there was a lake or a river painted next to it…  😉


✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1


27 responses to “Let it Ride

  1. Hi Julie, I’ve had many similar grumblings about biking, though I do bike more regularly for both fun and commuting. I got spoiled by the biking in Boulder and Madison. Both cities are well designed and committed to biking. Fayetteville, where I live now, is adding trails and lanes, but not easy to get from one side of town to the other. It’s interesting to notice all the mind chatter, reasons and limits we put on ourselves. I’ve mostly surrendered to the traffic part and mix in stretches on quiet streets, topped off with the feelings of movement and joy that biking brings me.

    Hope you find ways to make it fun for you. Ride on! XD


    • Hi Brad, Thankfully, Minneapolis is a pretty bike friendly city, with all sorts of trails and designated lanes for cyclists, it’s just in having spent 20+ years living out in the country and the suburbs, I need to re-acclimate myself to city living in general, including finding bike routes that I’m comfortable with, not to mention possibly getting a bike better suited for my knees.
      But I make everything fun wherever I go! 😉


  2. We have a similar situation here. There are great paths all around us, but to get to any of them, LARGE OVERPASS BRIDGES :O
    I think the $400 will be worth it — hope you get plenty of birthday contributions! 🙂


  3. Annette Rochelle Aben

    you WILL have that bike, you’ll see! enjoy it good health


  4. Is a great city for biking….keep it up but yes pace yourself!!🙋🙋


    • That it is, and hopefully I can get used to riding in the city. I went online earlier and printed up a few Minneapolis bicycle maps, so I’m going to study them and then map out a route to explore. 🙂


  5. Crooked Tracks

    If your current bike is old, you will really really love a new bike, they have so improved over time and make sure they fit the bike to you if you buy it, have fun 🙂


    • My current bike is only about 5 years old, and I haven’t ridden it much since moving to the city in 2011, so it’s fairly new-ish, but it’s not anything fancy and was a very inexpensive model, I only picked it out because it was purple. 😀
      Yes, I will definitely have them ‘fit’ the bike to me if I get the new one.


  6. I have a bad left knee myself – cartilage torn irreparably 40 years ago. The only option for me would be an electric bike; though I’m waiting for battery technology to improve before taking the plunge.

    Hariod ❤


    • Or wait for the technology to come out for an electric knee. 😉
      I injured my right knee as a child and had surgery performed on it as a teen, so it’s never worked quite right. But lately both knees have really deteriorated and I’ve been told I’m looking at a double knee replacement in the future. I’m not accepting that fate and still hoping for a miraculous regeneration of some sort to occur. I guess I might settle for getting bionic knees if that ever became a reality. Haha! Hey, it might be fun to be “better, stronger, faster” like the Six Million Dollar Man! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV17B8oq_cE 😉


  7. I hope you are able to get that bike. Riding with no pain in the knees would be worth some budget scrambling, at least I think so because I love bike riding too! My house isn’t the greatest place for riding either. There are a lot of steep hills in the neighborhood and I’m too chicken to ride by the super busy roads. Thinking about bike riding sure makes me miss the place where I grew up. You could ride for miles along the river and never meet a car….Ah, the good old days!


    • Me too! Hey, I won those Renfest tickets, so who knows… maybe money will magically appear from somewhere for me to get that bike! 😉
      Oh yeah, I bet there are some major hills where you are. Well, I know that the Seattle area is very hilly anyway. Now there’s a busy city! And you’d have to have some pretty serious legs to ride around that city with those hills!


      • That’s right, you’re in a good luck streak right now. The money for that bike could show up. We’ve received checks from unexpected sources before – it can happen! Seattle is busy and hilly. I can’t imagine trying to ride my bike down there!


  8. You know what? If Zac Brown just raised $80K+ on Kickstarter when all he wanted was $10 to make a bowl of potato salad, I say you plead your case to raise $400 for a bike. That should equate to what? Easily about $100K? 🙂


  9. I am having knee pains biking as well. I just turned 50 this year, and prior to that never had any problems at all with my knees. It started with 2 back to back bike rides this spring. Ahh, the rigors of getting old….and I’m with you on the city biking…it’s not as fun as being out in the sticks riding in the woods.


    • Hi Smitty, thanks for stopping by! I’m not quite 50 yet, but it’s not too far off, and every day I see more signs of aging. I do not like it one bit! I could devote an entire series of blog posts to all of the woes I’ve been experiencing there lately, but in always trying to keep a positive mind-set, until I can share it with a positive spin and a bit of added humor, I’m suffering in silence alone. 😉 I completely empathize with your knee pain, my own knee issues have been pretty much all my life, but lately there’s been a significant decline as I’ve been getting older. It really sucks too because many of the simple things I enjoy doing, now cause me intense pain. I hope your knee pain doesn’t take too much of the fun out of biking for you.
      Press on! 😀


  10. Sell your bike and have the family pool for your birthday and go for the Fuji! You deserve the joy of riding!
    I hope you are wearing a helmet. Sadly, we have a friend in ICU from a head injury while riding last week. So please keep SAFE!


    • Hi Eliza, I couldn’t get any significant amount of money from selling my current bike, but every little bit helps and I had intended on doing just that if I got the new one. So sorry to hear about your friend’s bicycle accident, I hope they’ll be alright. I’ve never worn a helmet while riding my bike, but if I find myself riding more and more amidst cars and busy traffic I may need to reconsider that. Yesterday I went on my first errand on my bike and rode to the post office to mail some small packages. I took all the side roads and didn’t encounter many cars. But… a 10-15 minute errand by car took me an HOUR on my bike, so running errands this way is definitely be more time consuming!


      • I hope you do get a helmet, it is a simple precaution that can save your life. Our friend was unconscious for a week and awakened only yesterday, but we don’t know yet how her brain injury will affect her. So scary.
        Perhaps you could look upon your bike ride not in terms of time spent, but benefits of being present and mindful outside, exercising and seeing things you wouldn’t notice in a car. I treasure summer because I know the contrast, as I know you do, too!


      • Oh that is scary, so glad your friend woke up, and I sincerely hope she makes a full recovery. ❤
        Yes, I am definitely always being present and mindful in everything I do, it was just funny that it took so much more time to run that errand on my bike! 😀


  11. Hope that you can get the funds for that bike, Julie, as I know it’s so good for exercise and is enjoyable to be out in nature – which I know you love so much. It can be scary out in traffic though, so please take care and find some nice peaceful routes and watch your knees too. Lots of love xx 🙂


    • I did get it, Ruth!!! I’m sure I’ll eventually write a post about it, but right now I’ve been busy “riding” it! 😉 Omygosh it’s so wonderful, it’s like riding on a cloud! ❤
      I've been keeping away from riding in any busy traffic for the most part, and still pacing myself with my knees, so I am taking care. 🙂
      Lots of love to you too! xx


  12. Pingback: Rollin’ on the River | Ramblings From Jewels

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