Monday, August 18, 2008

To my archnemisis: Don't read this!

When I ride my bike, I sometimes feel like a superhero. Dressed in my superhero outfit (no, that isn't me!), I can speed past many other riders on the trail. I feel good, like I can pedal forever, that is until I have to go down a hill.

If I was a superhero and I had an archnemisis, he could totally kick my butt by just by putting me on top of a huge hill.


Most riders love speeding down hills. My husband is one of them. He'll pick up to speeds of over 30 mph. Me? I practically stop. I get so nervous. "I'll meet you at the bottom," I yell to him as he flies past my wimpy butt. I squeeze my breaks and hold it steady, balancing myself and practically hold my breath until I reach the bottom.

This is where I do not look or feel like a superhero at all.

So what gives? Why can't I just take a hill like every other rider out there? If I were on a mountain bike, I know I would have no trouble getting down these hills. In fact, I'd probably even enjoy them, but this road bike is a completely different animal. I know it can go fast and I can make it go fast. What I don't know is how to unclip from the pedals and dismount fast enough not to fall, which is especially embarrassing when I'm alone. Falling is my biggest fear while riding this bike and it's not one of those fears where I can just fall and get it out of my system because I've fallen like six times in the four weeks I've had this bike.

I'm guessing it will just take practice to get comfortable on the bike. I'm proud of my accomplishments (I road 74 miles this weekend, almost half of the MS150 with 5 weeks left to train), but I need to get over this hump because it slows my time down and when I'm riding with my team (which I did this weekend too!) it really disrupts our line. I don't know how to do it except with lots and lots of practice. I will try any suggestions, so if you have any, please share. PLEASE!

My question to you is this: What is your fear and if you got past it, how did you do it?


IRISHKAT said...

I can go down a hill just fine, it is turning a corner that I can't do without fear of chucking myself into a heap of metal. But I will also say that I am too afraid of wearing clips. My brother was in three car vs bike accidents where he couldn't unclip fast enough and shattered his helmet two of those time. Guess that story isn't helping your cause is it?? Guess I'll shut my mouth now!

Diane said...

Hills that have turns are even worse for me, especially narrow turns. But I have to wear the clips b/c I need that extra power. Yesterday, I saw a guy get put in an ambulance in the middle of the trail. Thankfully we didn't see the accident, but there was a moment when I was like, OMG, what am I doing!

Autumn's Mom said...

I don't ever seem to get past my stupid fears. My biggest fear is of something happening to my family when they are riding in cars that aren't being driven by me. It's hard for me to put that control into someone else's hands with my precious cargo. I get real bad anxiety and can only make it tolerable.

Mamasphere said...

I can't imagine not being able to freely move my feet! That would not be the bike for me. I'm really impressed with all the riding you do, though!

J at said...

I think fear is just fine. My BIL wiped out on his bike this last February, and broke his collar bone. He wasn't going down a hill, though, so don't worry. Just trust your instincts.

Kelley said...

I am not telling you my fear cause then you will totally fill my bed with huge Huntsman Spiders and make me walk across a bridge.


Foiled again...

Anonymous said... goes. I recently came to find out that my Gmom was really nervous about me riding in the MS 150 ride with my Hoffman pals. She thinks it is too dangerous. I stopped to think...yes, rightly so it is dangerous.
Then my mom proceeds to tell me her response to Gmom's comment (paraphrased)....If you don't get out & try things, you will miss so much. You can't let fear rule you. My mom has been trying to get it through to my Gmom, since she is now afraid to leave the house anymore. But I was really glad she said it. TY Mom. Yes,...things happen & you deal. You can't live in fear. I went 32 miles an hour down a hill today & it felt great! Come to find out later I had a fractured fork. ....I'm still alive. Yeah! Needless to say...the fork has been replaced. Just relax & you'll loosen up eventually. Tammy