So I overcame my fear of cycling by doing it again. After my nervous ride a week ago, it was either abandon the sport or go for it. Today I met up with a group of riders from the Marin Cyclist Club. Beginning at the park-and-ride, the leader took off. I hopped on my bike and followed. I knew if I didn’t hug keep up I would be doomed by fear and discouragement if I started to fall behind. First thing, we hit that steep downhill I WALKED down with my bike last week. No time for fear. I just held on and went for it. Then she turned onto a narrowish road with plenty of traffic and parked cars. I just stuck behind her fender and didn’t look anywhere else. The first big hill was a heavy breather filling me with doubt whether I’d make the whole ride, especially with the faster pace. But I got my stride. I conquered the uphills easily and felt the thrill of the downhill with a pace facer than my comfort zone. I did it! I succeeded in getting over my fear of riding in traffic and picking up speed downhill. It was a friendly ride, met some nice riders and felt exuberant when we finished.
Lesson: If something’s hard or scary for me, I might be able to overcome it with more practice/effort. Also, I learned strength training pays off…that’s what powered me up those hills.
Next challenge: Ok, you say. It was only an “A” ride (easiest, shortest, slowest for the Club). Next time? Longer ride.
Why does anyone care?: Aging is pretty scary so I find it a daily challenge to either give in to limitations or challenge them. I want to share my experiences and encourage others to challenge themselves.