Cycle adventures: Solo edition
July 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
Before the ride I told myself, “I can do this.”
Starting point: Home Destination: Redamte Coffee House Distance: 3 miles (one way)
I was a little unsteady getting onto my bike and quietly yelled, ‘Eeeh.” Still in my driveway and I’m already having issues of fear. After looking up from my feet, I realized my Spanish-speaking-only grandpa neighbor was waving a sweet goodbye to me, but his face read, “Good luck and you can do this.” I think he has been watching the high and lows of this bicycle journey from a distance – across the street in his front yard. He even was outside the day my little blue cruiser came into my life.
I jumped on the bike trail and it felt great. It felt really good to not have to think about pedestrians or traffic. After going through the tunnel, I approached a family of cyclists. I wished you could have seen this. There were three little boys, probably all under 10 years old, riding with their dad. However, their dad was in his wheelchair trying his best to guide the boys and wheel himself. There was so much sweetness and goodness in this moment. I paused for a moment to smile to the dad and continued on my journey.
Approaching my first busy intersection, my heart started to beat real fast, my breathing became heavy and almost nonexistent, and the sweat continued to pour. But I did it. I crossed the intersection. I didn’t fall, get off my bike, or walk my bike. I did it! This definitely gave me the confidence to continue on, crossing three more busy intersections of downtown Madison. I arrived at my destination on time and safe. I cringed watching these cyclists at this busy NYC intersection.
My bike routes are still mostly on bike trails, turns are a little wobbly, beginning and stopping at intersections are inconsistent, but I think I’m on my way. I think I may have the best planned routes on how to avoid traffic, turning, hills and still arrive on one’s bike. I’m also learning quickly that a cruiser is quite difficult to ride when in a hurry or uphill. I may be on the market for a road bike so that I can shift gears to make the cycling a little bit easier. Since this first solo trip I have taken more bike rides with others and very short solo trips. My goal in the next week is to get more comfortable with crossing intersections. This cycle adventure continues on.
Readers, any tips on how to get more comfortable on my bike? How do I turn? How do I start and stop?