Saturday, January 4, 2014

A brand new year

I am feeling quite virtuous today, as I have just been for a bike ride.  The first in probably a year and although it is a mere 20 kilometres, (on a Sunday in 31 degree heat) more importantly, I just broke my exercise hiatus!
That’s right, I have not danced, swam, ridden or done any decent bushwalks…anyone who knows me knows that walking (which Mark and I do an incredibly large amount of, is just part of the day and doesn’t count).  And I feel really fat and gluttonous about not having exercised, whereas now I feel energised and motivated and that feels great.  
But I also had a revelation today.  I am a beginner rider for bikes and congratulate myself for having a go, but here’s what experienced riders don’t realise…
-       I rub my shoes on the pedals, because I put my feet in them incorrectly
-       I have to constantly think about the gears (what gear am I in, is it top or bottom lever to go up, gentle or fast change, remember to be in a middle small gear when you change up or down in the big gears, am I in the right gear as I enter the roundabout…and on)
-       Cars freak me out – in front, behind, too close…
-       It is difficult to indicate with your hand that you are going around the corner, because you then only have one hand on the handlebars and you are turning
-       Drinking from the bidden (not sure of the spelling of this word) is difficult, which hand to reach with, need a clear run when I won’t need to go around a corner, up a hill, change gears etc.
-       My bum hurts after about 15km and it is really uncomfortable to ride
-       My ‘granny gear’ is very unreliable – sometimes it will go in, sometimes not – and when I twist my chain around the shaft so it looks like a figure of 8, I don’t know how I do it and I don’t really know how to not do it again…
-       I can’t really hear instructions from my husband when he is talking forward, but I know it may be important so I am hyper-alert to something coming up and don’t know what it may be most of the time, so need to watch him and the road ahead very carefully…
Anyway, you get the idea…
So my revelation came to me as I was entering a roundabout, single file as instructed and Mark says ‘rider behind’.  I shakily put out my arm to indicate my direction of travel and concentrate with all the focus I can muster.  I am thinking, great some lycra asshole is going to overtake me on the right any moment now to show he is some hero … but instead I hear ‘I’m with you’.  Three little words from a woman that immediately make me feel safe and supported.  I relax and cycle on confidently.  When I exit the roundabout and turn my head to find her, she is gone in a different direction. 

This made me recall an article I read in Mark’s cycling magazine about women cycling clubs and how they have a different focus to the competitive focus of so many cycling clubs.  I do want to cycle, in fact, I want to start a bike bus for our school, but it is really unnatural and uncomfortable for me and I want to be more confident, yet it is such a steep learning curve.  I know I need a supportive group of people around me to build my confidence…so maybe this is it.  Certainly giving it a go is my way of saying thank you to that beautiful woman who supported me.  So next Saturday at an ungodly 6:30 start (that means a 5:00 start for me), I might just give it a go and who knows what might come out of it, it’s a start.

1 comment:

  1. On reading this back, it makes me sound like i have not been exercising over the past eighteen months - quite the contrary - however the past three weeks have been my exercise hiatus as i needed a vacation from everything!