My training momentum has been steady, until this week, when I hit a wall. (Well, it was more like a road.) I switched from my hybrid bicycle to a road bike and didn’t realize how hard the transition would be. After several falls and some tears, my body and spirit feel a little beat up.
The saying, “It’s like riding a bike,” makes it sound like it should be easy. It’s not hard on a hybrid per se, but when I first got back on one, I still needed to get used to balancing and handling it. A road bike, however, raised the bar considerably, at least for me.
Everyone told me making the transition would be fine. In fact, they said I would like road bikes better because they are so much easier to propel forward. They’re lighter and position your body more efficiently for gaining and maintaining speed. That’s all well and good, if you can start and stop without falling.
I stepped onto the new bike, rode it for no more than one minute — and fell trying to stop. Not a good start.
Round 2: Less than one minute, and I was down. I figured I might need to get the bike adjusted, because I got it used from a friend. That must be why I keep falling!
Round 3, after adjustment: Fell before I even got started. At this point, giving up sounded like a good option. Blood was flowing down my knee, and tears from my eyes. I had that “I just can’t do this” moment. But I heard Coach Jeanette’s voice in my head, “Get back up on the bike. You can do it!”
So, I did.
This time I went a little farther with no falls. I kept going, intentionally practicing starting and stopping. No more falls!
I feel stupid. Everyone can ride a bike! The goal of endurance riding is to go the distance, not stay upright without falling. It’s a good reminder that I’m so new to all of this. My pride wants it to be easier. But I will get back up on that darn bike again and keep trying. God willing, I’ll get the hang of it soon, and this falling business will just turn into a good story that I can tell the next set of triathlon newbies.