I think I’ve written before about how I’m afraid of my bike. I spend a lot of time screwing up my courage to go for a ride. Were it not for my riding friends and pre-determined dates and times for rides I just wouldn’t go. In fact, due to lack of same, today was my first ride since September 24 when I rode a whopping 16 miles. Now we could go and blame it on my trip to Peru but I got back from that in mid-October. So now we can blame it on the Nike 1/2 marathon but I that was Oct. 22. There really isn’t anything else to blame it on. Really. It was just fear plain and simple.
But wait, there’s more. Ever since I got my spd pedals I’ve been even more afraid. Not only am I in danger of being hit by a car or attacked by a bear (because you know – those suburban bears are real killers), I might forget to clip out and just fall over. I have, in fact, done that 3 times. Of course it didn’t really hurt but it could, you know – it could really hurt. Add to that the fear of climbing a hill and slowing down until I just fall over and I become apoplectic.
Then there’s the issue of what has happened while I was training for a marathon and traveling to distant places (and YES – I am going to finish that travelogue soon). My friends B and C have been climbing mountains and learning how to draft and generally getting faster, and faster and faster. So in addition to the fear of cars and bears I have to grapple with the fear of B and C hating to ride with me because I’m so damned slow.
Today changed all of that. Today our other biking friend, E, asked if I wanted to go for a ride even though B and C were not available. I didn’t hesitate to say “yes!” lest I never get on my bike again. Then she suggested we try to climb Mt. Diablo to the ranger station. Ow. So that’s get on the bike at all AND climb a big hill. E is kind and forgiving and wanted a riding partner and she had done way more traveling than me in the last couple of months so I knew what we were doing – we were trying to catch up to B and C.
As FDR said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’ and so I agreed to that plan. By thee time we met up I was already thinking of good excuses to back out. As we got closer and closer to the base of the mountain and my legs got a little sore (because I did just PR in a 5K yesterday) the excuse-o-meter ran to the red and my mind became a blinding blur of reasons I just couldn’t go on. But I went on.
And here is our ride
We rode 1300 ft up the mountain! There were a million times when I wanted to turn back and didn’t actually make it as far as we had wanted to but we did a lot and I feel cured! I also feel like maybe I CAN train for Wildflower. Maybe I really can.
Now I just need to learn to relax a little coming down. I mean really, who comes down a mountain at less than 20 mph?