Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hammons Take Up Bicycling or We're Really Tired of Walking All the Time

Hammons Take Up Bicycling or We're Really Tired of Walking All the Time
Darrel L. Hammon

Darrel and Joanne in their cool helmets
  Well, we did it! We bought bicycles. Both are Schwinns: Joanne’s is sky blue, and mine is dark navy blue. Both have 21 speeds although we doubt we will ever use all of them. My first and only bike was a red Schwinn my dad bought me when I was eight-years-old, and I remember the ton of fun I had, driving all over Menan, down to Spring Creek to fish, then down to the Snake River, and down all of the back roads. 

Joanne and her beautiful sky blue Schwinn
These two Schwinns are classified as “hybrids,” which basically means they are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. We guess that means we can ride them in the mountains and on the road—perfect for Pleasant Grove, since we live on a hill and have to ride downhill to get to the bike path. So, I guess we are using the “hybrids” the way they were meant to be.
We don’t ride them every day. Joanne has us on two exercise regimes: a bike routine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and a walking routine Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Sundays continue to be our day of rest in so many ways.

Darrel with his Schwinn
So, on Monday mornings, we don our helmets, cool sun glasses, and head for the bike path. That means we speed downhill to the bike path. Compared to walking, I am amazed how fast we can go downhill. Of course, we know—and sometimes cringe at the thought—that we will have to come back up. But no matter which way we start out, we still have to climb back up a hill. For some reason, the zooming down the hill temporarily erases the thoughts of climbing back up.

A barn along the way
We have gone both ways on the bike path, one way goes toward Provo and the other way goes toward Lehi and Highland. I think the bike path is about 17 miles long. It used to be a canal that weaved its way through the small communities along the mountainside. A couple of years back, they laid tube so the canal could still be used, paved it, developed a bike path on top, and named it the Murdock Canal Trail. It is a wonderful addition to the community. Many communities are moving this direction, which I applaud. All communities, if they truly want their community members to be fit and create an atmosphere of progress, should put in a greenbelt that accommodates runners, walkers, and bikers. 

Some of the scenery along the way
Our longest ride has been about nine miles. Of course, we are just beginners. The bike path is pretty easy. The people are extremely friendly. Whether people are walking, jogging, or biking, they always say hello. Many people bike to work; families walk or jog; others walk their dogs; and then bikers race up and down the path. We don’t race; rather, we are more like bike saunterers.

Grain elevators down by the little pond
One day, we rode to a little man-made lake and took a breather. People were fishing on one end of it. A family in our Church ward told us they had gone there for a picnic and to fish. Their children loved it.

The Pond
Now, the challenging thing about a bike ride in Pleasant Grove is that you have to ride up a hill to get back home. It doesn’t matter which way you return home. There is always a hill, and the hill varies in the steepness. But, alas, they are still steep hills.

One of the hills and a pretty long shadow
The first couple of times, we didn’t ride all the way up the hill. It was too steep and difficult. The last couple of times, I have ridden all the way without stopping. Of course, I was in first gear. By the time I arrived home, I was tired, my legs were tight and aching, and breathing came hard. I guess the hill climb pushes the heart to pumping speeds to get the most out of an exercise. 

Am I still alive?
Overall, we are having fun riding our bikes. We enjoy the camaraderie, zooming down the hill, and then the arduous task of pedaling back up hill. We are still getting used to the helmets though, but Emiline, our granddaughter, thinks we look “cool” in them.

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