Archived Story

Howells take bike ride adventure

Published 11:25am Friday, November 16, 2012

I rode a bike for the first time since I was ten years old last weekend. And my achy body felt like it Monday.

Last Saturday morning, the first thing John said to me when I sleepily cracked open one eye was “Let’s ride bikes today!”

I told him I’d do anything after two cups of coffee and to pump the breaks.

John’s Atlanta-based sister, Hadley, and her husband Kris Gilliland, keep their bikes in the Howells’ garage in Willow Point. My father-in-law, Scotty Howell, decided to join us in our bike riding adventure.

While I could have chosen the cruiser, I was anxious to try Hadley’s racing bike, the kind where you have to put on the biking shoes that physically click into the pedals. As a runner, I have wanted to explore cycling. Not to mention my creaky knees would appreciate the cross training. Naturally, I had to wear Hadley’s padded spandex cycling shorts. I like to be in character at all times.

My decision to ride the racing bike instantly made John a nervous wreck. I dutifully secured my helmet and began practicing clicking and unclicking my feet from the pedals (which is an outward movement of your heel), all the while obnoxiously shouting “Look at me!”

“You will fall and it will ruin the weekend, please get on the cruiser,” John begged.

I reassured him I had mastered this skill, and John quickly distracted himself with endlessly ringing his bike’s bell.

As we sped down the first major hill, I was reintroduced to the childlike thrill bikes have to offer. I am all about having the wind in your hair, and that racing bike could fly.

Still, I had to focus on remembering that my feet were clicked in, which was a bit stressful.

The racing bike had no business on the Russell Trails, so it was a simple trek to the Willow Point fitness center and back.

I never wiped out. I know you were hoping for a comical tip over at a stop sign.

Sunday morning we did it again. I rode Scotty’s mountain bike, for safety’s sake. We took the golf cart trails that wind to the Willow Glynn development, which may be the hilliest place on earth. As fun as it was speeding down those hills, we instantly had to climb them. My thighs were on fire, and more than once I hopped off and pushed my way to the top. I just thought I was in shape!

John and I whooped, hollered and raced each other. We waxed poetic and traded childhood bike stories and wipeouts.

It is refreshing to let your hair down and act like a silly kid sometimes. It is even more fun when you go outside and “play” with you significant other. I cannot wait to do it again. We are asking Santa for a canoe this year … stay tuned. I can only imagine John and I in the middle of Lake Martin in January. Do you think my arms will get tired?

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.