Saturday, May 10, 2014

Make Me Feel Proud: Day 3 - On Wheels

Cycling is hard for me. It wasn't always hard. I remember plenty of summers as a kid wheeling around the neighbourhood on my bike, easy, effortlessly, nothing of note to ever make me feel like it could ever be hard. I never loved it, but I didn't dislike it...

Until I grew longer arms and legs and got heavier and slower... and then, that's when it got difficult.

I don't know exactly when I decided I wasn't built for biking. I've tried different bikes, had people stand there with me raising and lowering seats and handles, suggesting different styles, different shoes... but there's no denying it. I feel awkward and slow on a bike.

So, it's a really big deal for me to sign up for a fundraising event that entails me riding on a bike the whole day. That is super intimidating for me. I have a real fear that I'm going to hold everybody back.
The event is a tour around local vineyards, which might seem like a pleasant day with your friends, but it is a really, really big deal to me. It will be a lot of work for me to get ready for this event.

I've been working on getting more comfortable on a bike. Twice a week, at the gym, I get on the spinning bikes and do intervals of high resistance, spaced with short periods of low resistance. I'm slowly increasing the length of the high resistance intervals to get used to pushing those muscles. I've found that those muscles are very different than those I use for running.

I've also been trying to get out on my bike on the road during the weekends. That's a bit difficult in my town because it's really hilly around here, but today, I decided to venture out onto the open road. I donned some hi-visibility clothing (I'm sure they could see me from space), strapped on my bike helmet, put my phone in my running belt and a watch on my wrist, and just went for it.

Today, I am proud that I stuck with my plan and cycled nearly 26 kilometres. That's a big deal for Ms. Clumsy-On-a-Bike. I rather enjoyed it, even if my buttocks didn't. I think I'll try that one again...

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