Summer 2019

Bike behavior: Gearshift out of Fear

close-up-of-bicycle-wheel-with-chain (1)It was a great challenge to resume my biking regimen and some weeks, I did not bike because the recovery from the last ride was quite extensive! I stayed with the same trail all summer; it began with an easy downhill path, with a sharp turn to a flat surface and smooth ride until the return home. During the last 10 minutes of the ride, I always faced a very, very steep incline; I would walk my bike up the steepest part of the hill. I would get on the bike and attempt the incline, but could not shift the gears quick enough. I kept getting on and then off the bike during the incline because the requirements to champion the hill were just too great for me (so I believed).

I was frustrated and decided to change my route and stop the self-torture of what was obviously not meant for me to champion. I felt the route did not fit my skill or ability. Full of frustration, I began researching other routes that aligned with my skill level and would still provide me with some exercise. I tried one alternative route-EPIC FAIL. I was quickly bored, frustrated and overwhelmed with disappointment.

One day I researched the bike gears and the incline strategies. I decided to try the original route again. As my bike ride came to the last 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing and anxiety rising in fear of failure. I used the gearshift strategy I researched and studied and before I knew it, in less than 3 minutes, I completed the incline of the steep hill! I just needed to research and learn how to shift gears. My regret…I spent all summer in an on and off routine, and now I’ll have to flex my new skills next summer. Interesting how I had the tools but lack the knowledge in using them. Sometimes we think we know what we’re doing…

My Bike Ride…The Art of Braking

The Art of BikingIt’s been interesting to re-engage the art of the bike ride. The braking techniques have been a killer to put into rhythm. If I brake too quick and fast, I can tumble over the handle bar and if I break extreme, an irritating, loud noise sounds off.  If I hit the front brake instead of the rear, that causes issues as well.

For years, I’ve been biking in ignorance – the get on and go kind of method. “I know how to ride a bike.” I upgraded the bike, but did not upgrade in understanding. My front brakes stop me and my rear breaks slow the speed. Most of my stopping power is in the front. Without using good techniques, I could “fly over the handle.” I hate wearing my bike helmet, but if I had practiced some safety in my personal life, the fall would not have been so painful and hard. I’ve had some hard stops as well and some “bike fall-me fall.” My bike brakes have taught me a lot about my life. It’s all about losing the ignorance, learning technique and putting it into rhythm. Bike better, live better.


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