This is my Opus.

My first bikeIf you had told me years ago that biking would make me feel this good I would have started as soon as I could walk.

Technically, I guess I did.

Growing up in a tiny town with dirt roads I had hand-me-down bikes from relatives and friends-of-friends. I only ever experienced the luxury of a new bike once, and even then that was just because I won $100 bucks on a lottery ticket and put that with savings to buy an 18-speed no name bike that was purple and black and probably shouldn’t have been ridden on gravel.

You see, I’m not the smallest person. And by that I mean I was teased in school from kindergarten right to graduating high school for being overweight. But that has never stopped me from doing the things I love to do – it has provided challenges, but not halted.

Biking is a great form of exercise if you’re a little more generous in the belly because it’s not hard on your joints like running is, and by the time the haters yell obscenities at you from the side of the road you’re already too far past them to care.

Opus Avro 2My Opus has given me freedom. When I first spotted the Avro in the parking lot of Minipi Outfitters I knew it was the one I wanted. The artist in me liked the matte grey finish with red details, and the adventurer in me felt the lightweight frame and the sturdy I-can-pass-you-on-trails feel of the bike. I was sold. And therefore so was the bike.

When I brought it home and looked it over it was intimidating. My first thoughts were “I’m going to pop the tires when I sit on this. It’s going to be so embarrassing to have to bring a brand new bike for repairs on the second day.”

But then I got on and went around the block and everything changed. I remember trying to look back at the rear tire to see how flat it was against the road and almost losing my balance. That alone should have told me how silly I was being. It was time to let go and ‘just go.’ And I’m really glad I did.

Biking isn’t easy. If it is, you’re not trying hard enough. Some days you just want to stay home because the motivation isn’t there, but I guarantee you once you get on that bike and start going you will not finish disappointed. It’s tough carrying around extra weight, but if you try every day, and go just a little further each time, you’ll be amazed at how well you do. 

When I bought my bike a little over three weeks ago I would go about a kilometer and have to turn around and head back. As my strength grew and I pushed myself more, I knew I was capable of much better. Now I’m biking 7-10km mix of road and trail riding nearly every day. I can see changes happening and I push myself more all the time.

Mandy Poole Opus AvroSee you at the finish line. Over that mountain. Through that stream. And back on the road again.

That’s my Opus.