This weekend my husband and I took our bikes out of the shed for the first time in 5 years. Other than 4 flat tires, lots of dirt and cobwebs, they were in pretty good shape. Makes sense since we only rode them twice.
Failed Attempt 5 Years Ago
We purchased the bikes in 2011. We were both much heavier and this was our solution to losing weight. Pretty typical of overweight folks who are sedentary and suddenly get the urge to “move more.” Instead of a treadmill (our Love Shack is too small) we opted for two 8-speed bikes.
Of course my excitement gave way once the rubber hit the road.
The last time I was on a bike was middle school. Peddling wasn’t as easy as I remembered. And my balance was gone. I kept thinking I’d fall and break something. I was gripped with the fear of falling and had zero confidence in myself.
So I came up with loads of excuses to get off the bike.
- “I’m going to fall and break something.”
- “The seat hurts too much.”
- “I can’t keep my feet on the pedals”
“I’m too fat to ride.”
- “Oh it’s too tall for me.”
- “I need to loose weight first.”
- “I’m too old.”
In reality I was too scared. So I put a lot of energy in my excuses for getting off the bike and not enough into getting on the bike and peddling. I wasn’t strong enough then to fight Resistance – my internal naysayer that didn’t like me getting out of my comfort zone.
Time To Go For A Ride
Well 5 years later we cleaned up those bikes, pumped up the tires and headed to an empty parking lot. I needed to practice without worrying about other bikers, walkers (not the zombie kind) and cars.
While I’m not the same person who first rode my bike 5 years ago, I did feel a twinge of butterflies in my stomach. But once I started peddling, those few fears gave way to utter joy.
I completely forgot how much fun it was to ride until I started peddling. There’s a sense of freedom you get as you whizz a long from place to place.
My husband gave me lots of great tips – positioning your feet around turns, braking with the back tire not the front, differences between high and low gears and how to fall (cause it will happen).
It was basically a more fun version of my spin class.
We’ve gone riding two days in a row now and no signs of sore legs yet. Weather permitting we’re planning on riding 5-6 days a week. Just fun rides to help build up strength and stamina, as well as practice climbing hills and sharp turns. I’m still getting the hang of shifting gears. And going down hill fast does freak me out a little, but I love it.
This morning I dug out my hardly used guidebook on best bike paths in our area.
With two awesome outings under my belt I’m planning how to tackle the 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion Trail for the fall.
I’d say I’m hooked.