Ballet class was nice. Only four of us company dancers meeting for the sake of staying in shape. Class was taught by a friend and someone who I used to work with at the Alabama Ballet (now dancing with Louisville Ballet) Brandon. A nice calm summer class. It was exactly what I was wanting... but I was craving more than 3 miles on the saddle afterwards. So I called my friend Lydia, met her in 5 Points, had a nice cerveza and set out on an "urban expedition" through Birmingham.
Given my strong love for all things pedaled, my eye was drawn directly to this fella. My dad rode a recumbent bicycle for a time and I think they can be pretty swell... but he never had anything quite like this. Electric assisted, windshield sturdy tank of a recumbent trike. Even his young passenger was able to go to the park with him from Vestavia Hills (which for those not from here is a healthy ride.)
I had to talk to him.
Si started the car free life while living in Hawaii for three years. After looking over my bike he noticed the Birmingham Bicycle Company sticker on my bike and coincidentally enough he told me he was the brother of one of the incredibly kind people over at my local bike shop, Mike Fisher. The day was full of wonderful and mostly bike related fun, and in Alabama! Lydia and I then enjoyed a glass of wine (and an incredibly refreshing cup of gazpacho) in the shade before ending our jaunt around town.
But this encounter with Si leads me to the most important part of this article.
TheBirmingham Bicycle Company.
This bike shop has been so helpful and supportive to me, even as an greenhorn cyclist (or Fred as roadies call us), ever since I ordered my bike through them months ago. I'm not really changing the world or making them famous (and I'm certainly no racer)... I'm just a 25 year old boy with MS who wants to go an a big bike ride and they have shown such honest support and great service for my cause. I'm very excited for the gear I have coming in too! Along with more bib shorts I am also getting a Louis Garneau handlebar bag which comes with a case for the all important map. I will be almost entirely ready for the tour!
Today also, like after most other things I got at Birmingham Bicycle Company, I learned what I did not realize I've been missing all along. This time: A better helmet. A Bell Sweep ended up being the winner. Light and airy. My already obsessive mind was given a burst of power with all this incredible gear and now I cant stop dreaming of the saddle and this is all easier to do because of the Birmingham Bicycle Company's incredible support.
One thing is for sure, I will gladly wear my BBC jersey on this tour!
Also, any thanks to both Mike Fisher and Tim Heard for all the help!