Monday, March 28, 2011

Cycling is not for the timid!

I had a wonderful weekend with great weather and awesome workouts minus one little setback.  On Sunday when it was time for my bike workout I found myself procrastinating.  I took my time getting out of bed, normally I’m up and at ‘em by at least 7am on the weekends.  I started watching a documentary on the metal music movement in Norway in the 1990s and I even got most of the way through this before I realized what I was doing.  I thought since when do I care about metal music movements in Norway and how is this enlightening me in any way?  I was avoiding going for a solo bike ride even though it was a beautiful day.  I love to ride outdoors but if I don’t have one of my usual crew to accompany me I tend to dread riding by myself. 
So instead I got on the bike trainer.  Which although effective and still accomplished my mileage goal for that week is quite dull compared to a bright sunshiny day.  I am not normally a timid person, I am very outgoing and love to be outside.  Then why is cycling so intimidating to me?  First there are the cars you have to be prepared for.  There are also now cops on the street I frequented giving out warning tickets to cyclist because apparently that road is closed to cyclists.  There is the need to know how to look over your shoulder when you are going to cross a street to get into the turn lane, while at the same time not veering into the car lane in this attempt.  Then there is the water bottle that I dare not drink out of while pedals are moving.  Don’t forget the pedals, that even though I’ve conquered, every once in a while I might still fall if when I reach down to the ground with the unclipped foot I get a sudden painful cramp in my hip that throws me off balance.  Then there are the other cyclists that if I try to ride in a group I’m not familiar with, if they are truly cyclists and not triathletes, are very comfortable riding elbow to elbow with you sharing spit as the yell stories to you.  But for some reason when I ride with one of my two riding buddies (my dad that only visits on occasion or my ex co-worker) I take the lead and all that intimidation goes away.

Oh and btw that screen is so old I have to hit if I want it to stop scrambling so I can read the outputs...

 So I ask why is it I can’t be that confident on my own?  I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now (with some sabbaticals in between) so I’m not exactly a newbie either.  Silly I know.  I have decided my action plan for this is to join a local women’s only cycling group that claims to be friendly to all levels and abilities.  I need to put myself out there.  I find that a lot of times finding training partners can be a lot like dating.  You have to make sure you are compatible, live near to each other, are ready to commit, No? ok maybe I’m going a little over board.  How do you ride, solo or in a group?  What things do you find intimidating about cycling or if nothing how did you overcome it? 
I comforted myself after this by shoe shopping.  Excited to try my new all terrain running shoes that I got at a killer deal ($29), the trick is buying last years model.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

You thought about before I did, I was going to suggest riding with people, in my opinion, the safest way to bike is with people.

I also suggest a bike mirror that you clip to your sunglasses, I have one, I dont need to turn my head over my shoulder, I just look in my mirror to see what is behind me

B.o.B. said...

Perhaps I should join a group at some point as well. I'm with you on being nervous with traffic and with clips! You're kind of like my cycling mirror. LOL!