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At the end of June I announced that I was training for my first triathlon! While I feel good about the swim and run portion, the bike portion has me a bit nervous. This is what I said in my original post: “Here’s the glitch- I haven’t actually been on a road bike in 11 years. So…. i need to do that. Soon.” I thought that signing up for a triathlon would be the motivation I needed to hop back on my bike after a long hiatus.

I guess I should mention why I stopped riding, since it’s clearly a little abnormal for someone my age to not have been on a bike for so long. In late middle school and half way through high school, I was growing at such a rapid rate that I had bad knee pain. Going around in circles on the bike made it worse. Furthermore, I was stuck wearing these huge knee braces to help alleviate some of the growing pains (imagine how cool I looked in gym class!), and they pinched me when I was doing the circular motion of the bike. That was what originally pushed me to stop riding. Other contributing factors- I didn’t like the look of a helmet (and I wasn’t going to ride without one) and going to college where I didn’t need a bike. One year turned to two, then four, then suddenly I realized it had been a decade since I’d been on a bike. Oops. By this point I was actually a bit afraid to hop back on the bike because I thought I might have forgotten how to ride.

On Sunday night, my brother decided that it was time, and carried his old bike upstairs (obviously I don’t have a bike of my own!) and pumped up the tires. It was like a scene from my childhood. He held the back of the bike and ran while I rode, with me screaming “DON’T LET GO” down the street. Finally he did let go and I was doing it! I was biking up and down the street (of course I was screaming “HELP” and yelling about how dangerous this was. I’m sure my neighbors were thrilled.) and I realized that I hadn’t completely forgotten how to ride!

About to ride for the first time. My smile looks forced. Very, very forced.

Monday my brother and I went out for a 9.7 mile ride, and while the first few miles were a bit shaky, I was doing fine by the end. I went out on a bike trail, and the sharp turns while others were passing in the opposite direction was slightly scary. It was ok though. Unfortunately, at the end of the ride there’s this beast of a hill (at least in my mind!) that I’ve never been able to bike up before. My brother insisted I could do it, and so I shifted into the easiest gear and went. The elevation climb in about 100 feet, and I slowly made my way up. I made it to the top, and it was a great way to end the bike ride.

Last night I went out with my family on a 17.71 mile bike ride which felt much more comfortable then the first ride. Although the first few miles I felt a bit stiff and the sun was shining brightly in my eyes (hello, headache!), once we got on the bike trail it was fine. I’m happy that I finally got back on the bike, and am also very happy that I didn’t fall off my bike on either of the rides (it felt close a few times!). I’m feeling much more comfortable about my tri now that I’ve finally gotten on the bike and am not just exercising on the spin bike anymore!

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried anything new, exciting, or scary this week? 

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