Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 1: Biking in Korea

Well, as has been mentioned a new dog was acquired. I admit it, I got talked into it by a friend of mine that volunteers at the shelter. She talked up a big beautiful black borzoi dog. Granted I did not want big black borzoi dog but I knew my roommate would be happy to meet and gain such a dog especially after losing the other dog last summer.

So a new dog was gained, named Gracie, who is about a hundred times larger than Tino and roughly a year old as far as we know. She is most definitely my roommates dog. She wants nothing to do with me at all. And lucky for me the roommate has gone to the States for two weeks and I'm watching the dogs. Granted with Tino this is easy. But the big dog needs an insane amount of walking to feel tired in the least. So I went and bought a bike. This seemed like the best possible way to handle the situation. I don't live too far from the Sincheon river and it has a nice bike trail, making it the easiest way to walk the dog.

Granted there was one problem with this little plan. I hadn't ridden a bike since I was twelve. I actually liked bike riding. I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. I remember when I lived in the desert I'd ride for miles and miles in the hot dry heat. I rode past a rattle snake once and sped away as it snapped at me. I'd ride on back roads and scare jackrabbits out of the brush. It was hot and I loved it. After moving to the mountains my bike riding got cut down a lot. There were two primary problems, the asthma and the fact that I was allergic to everything that grows. A big change from the desert where my asthma did not happen.

So the asthma got worse, I got bigger, and eventually stopped riding. However when getting the bike I reminded myself that I regularly ride at the gym between 45 and 50 minutes a day when I'm up to it. I figured riding a bike on the street would probably not be that much more difficult than what I was doing at the gym.

Now I have a bike, I have a big black dog, and I'm pushing the bike out of door to my apartment. I'm getting ready to get on the bike when I realize, again, that I really have no idea how this is going to work out. Before this point it had been a thought exercise, ride dog with bike-wear dog out. I was actually going to try this. Obviously I am in insane.

I managed to get on the bike without falling off. The thing I remember best about bike riding is that falling off is really easy to do. As I started to peddle the big black dog started to get a little speedy and I realized that I was now trying to ride a bike, something I hadn't done in years, with a dog, something I'd never done.

We weaved through the city streets towards the river and I was scared out of my mind. My heart was racing and it wasn't from the peddling. I was convinced I was going to fall off, or she was going to pull me off. She kept jerking me, I kept being steered in towards cars. I was never so happy to dismount and get to the river.

At the river I had to get the bike down stairs. Fortunately they have a ramp set in the middle of the stairs for people to roll bikes down which is what I did. Landing at the bottom I was ready for the actual riding part. I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing. I went to get on the bike and immediately bruised both shins with the peddle. Fantastic.

I reset the peddles, feeling all of eight as I did it, and jumped on and started to go. We were finally able to pick up speed. Apparently big black dog was happy because she started to pounce. I noticed this about her when she was adopted that she liked to jump. Jump high. Given room to do it she can jump straight up off the ground to shoulder height. Imagine her doing that when you're riding a bike thirty miles an hour. Needless to say it scared the crap out of me.

This continued for a great deal of the ride. She also managed to pull me to a full stop every ten minutes. When we finally turned around to go home all I could think was that I was happy we were finally finished. Getting back I realized we had been gone for almost three hours. And the worst part was I did not feel worked out at all. The bike riding is supposed to replace my regular workout for the next two weeks until roomie returns to take dog so I can start going to back to the gym. But it was getting off to a poor start all around. And trust me, it gets more interesting.


GeologyJoe said...

riding is the best exercise there is. plus you get too see more. keep it up and you wont need that gym pass.

Saradevil said...

You know how much of a sick gym junkie I am? Today I rode for two hours to get the dogs walked. Then I went to the gym for an hour and a half to feel worked out.

It's a disease with me.