Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

My recovery week is at an end.

I relaxed.

I walked.

I put my legs up on the couch and read for hours at a time.

It was nice which it lasted.

Tomorrow, I have to be up, fed and ready to ride with the Runners' Edge cycling club by 8am.  It's our first outdoor bike ride of the year.  The first since last November when it just got way too cold to be on the road.

It's too bad that we can run when it's minus 30 degrees out but we have to stop cycling as soon as it gets anywhere near zero.  But it's just too hard on a bike because speed equals wind which equals really really cold.  Imagine driving your car in the winter with the windows open and you get the idea.

Tomorrow, we're braving the elements.  It's supposed to be above zero but that still means that we will have several layers on and probably won't be able to feel our fingers, toes or face by the end of the ride.

Not having ridden outside for a few months, it's going to be a challenge to get the body moving again.  We've been riding our trainers indoors all winter but it's not the all. It's a lot harder on a bike when there are real hills to climb and incessant wind to contend with.

My feelings about cycling are really mixed.  I love love love being on a bike.  I love the speed and I love how we travel so far so fast.  Compared to running, we cover a huge amount of distance in no time at all and our weekend rides take us up and down the Niagara Escarpment as we explore all that this area has to offer.

My issues with cycling can be blamed entirely on my very active imagination and the very real car accident that my family and I were in when I was 16.  I am terrified of what could happen if I lose control or if a car pulls out in front of me.  I hate blind corners and I doubly hate steep hills that abruptly end at a stop sign.  Shaking, sweating, panicky kinda scared.  I am scared when other cyclists ride too close to my back wheel, when squirrels look like they might dart in front of me, or when I can't see right to the bottom of the hill.  It's just too easy to imagine all the things that could very vivid detail.

The good news is that I've never been one to let fear dictate what I do.  It's there and I can't make it go away.  But I've learned to control it.  I know how to breathe through the fear in a way that keeps me in control and lets me enjoy the ride.  I take my time in areas that frighten me and, when I need to, I will let everyone else go ahead of me so that I can go at my own pace.

The end result is that I get to do something I love, be with people I like being with, and prove to myself yet again that fear can be managed and conquered.

Plus we get to go to Tim Hortons afterwards for our weekly coffee klatsch which makes it all worthwhile!

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