The debut of the Rubenesque Cyclist

My name is Iris Murasaki and it seems I’ve become known as the resident cyclist on a particular weight loss-related internet forum.  This past year I’ve fielded more and more questions from overweight women who are curious about bike riding as a re-entry to exercise, and eventually I got the idea that a blog might be a good idea.  I polled the women and was overwhelmed at their positive response!  So, here I am.

As a kid I rode a bike everywhere.  I loved being mobile.  I could pop wheelies.  I could jump curbs, both up & down, without fear.  I was a crackerjack at riding without hands.  As a matter of fact, my memory of learning to ride a bike is that I was four years old, and I simply got on another kid’s bike and started pedaling.  Yes, I just did it….but it took me a while to learn how to use the brakes, and I have some scars to prove it.

I rode a bike for a while during college.  I spent the summer of my junior year in Germany, where bikes are common, and when I returned to school in the fall I dusted off my brother’s old Austrian-made three-speed from Sears.  I rode this until I got hit by a car and bent a wheel.  (I didn’t get hurt beyond a few bruises, and I was riding where I shouldn’t have & assume most of the blame, but that’s another story.)  The following year I managed to buy a new bike, a Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike, and I rode that bike all over Pittsburgh for a couple years, until I got a “real job,” bought a car, and moved away.

Fast forward oh, ten years, and I hadn’t ridden a bike in a while.  I got a Specialied Crossroads hybrid around 2003, and started riding to work occasionally, and riding on bike trails.  I really enjoyed it, and I knew I wanted to get more involved with cycling.  I met my husband in 2007, and since he was already a cyclist, he really helped me DO IT.  In 2008 I bought my road bike, a Trek 1.2, and since then I’ve ridden more and more.  I currently ride to work on a Specialized Rock Hopper mountain bike that my father-in-law got cheap at an auction, and my Trek road bike for longer rides, usually with the local cycling club.

Cycling has made my life better in many ways, and I’ll talk about this more on this blog.  But this is enough for now.  I hope that I occasionally will say something that helps you consider taking up bike riding or even become a better cyclist.


13 thoughts on “The debut of the Rubenesque Cyclist

  1. Christy

    Awesome! I’d love some tips on how to buy a bike. There are so many different types, that it’s so hard to know what kind to buy.

    1. IrisMurasaki Post author

      Christy, I’m sure that is something we’ll talk about here! Start thinking about what you want to do with your bike. Do you want to ride around the neighborhood with the kids? Run errands around town? Do longer rides on trails or roads? Get crazy and do a seven-day bicycle tour across Iowa? Think about what you want to do to start, and in what direction you’d like to move.

  2. Lisa

    I am so glad you started this blog, Iris. I want to learn more about getting back in gear (so to speak) and preparing for long rides/tours. Right now, I am pretty scared AND excited to get back on a bike. I rode a lot up through college, but after that, I only did occasional mountain biking. I look forward to following your blog!

  3. Becky Castleman

    Iris – I am so glad you started this blog. I can’t wait to see the tips and suggestions you have in the future. I recently started road biking again this spring and remember the fear when I got on the bike for the first time in 10 years and being 70lbs heavier.

  4. Becky in MO

    Iris, I’m not sure what gave me the “feeling” today to see if you had started your blog yet, but I went searching and am eager to follow. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. IrisMurasaki Post author

      Becky, there you are! I hadn’t seen you for a while & was wondering how to get the word out. Just started TODAY! I have a laundry list of topics you suggested weeks ago.

  5. Kim C in Utah

    So happy to see you got started. I’ve always enjoyed your cycling adventures and look forward to what you have to add here.


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