Week 2 – (Falling) Off the bike!
So you know my goal from last week was to learn to use my abs while riding, so I can take my hands off the handle if I need to.
Well so much for setting goals. I spent this week more off the bike than on it – and not because I didn’t start riding, but because I kept falling off!!
I was traveling in the beginning of the week, and started my ride only on Wednesday. In order to re-acquaint myself with my bike – my husband and I went to a near-by park for me to practice getting on and off my bike, clipping in and off, and hopefully managing my position. And once again, as always, I fell when trying to stop and clip off. After this, I still decided to go on and ride on the bike path for about 3 miles, before losing nerve and heading home.
Thursday morning, I decided to go for a ride to start the day. Went to the bike room to get the bike, and inflate the tires (apparently, when you are a regular bike, you need inflate your tires everyday to a set pressure before you go riding – another new thing I learnt!!). And guess what I ended up doing? I deflated both my tires!!
So I went and asked the doorman for help, both of us struggled, till I decided to wake up my husband, and he helped set things right. By this time, it was almost 7 am. I went to the near by bike path for a ride. (Its a beautiful ride by the way).
Going so late on a weekday morning, was a big mistake. Everyone in the world was on there, and they were totally clueless. In any case, avoiding the people ended up being my mission of the ride. As I was going ahead, thinking to myself, “Ah, this is nice! I am getting somewhere”, a huge dog decided that now was the time to pee in my lane! To make matters worst, his owner was totally unaware of his surroundings, and ambled into my path as well, completely blocking my lane, between them and the leash.
Now, if you have followed my riding so far, you know that I am a terrible rider (thus far), and have limited control with brakes. So I was yelling at him to get out of my way, while desperately trying to slow down. And yes, I did crash into him. I was ok, but he was bruised. It was a wonder the dog didn’t bite me…. anyway, having given my apologies for hurting him, I continued.
I wish I could say, the rest of my ride was uneventful. But after this episode I decided to turn around and head back. And guess what, I broke the golden rule – I looked where I didn’t want to go! And of course, I went right there.
By there I mean, in the middle of a terrible pot hole. Thank heavens, I wasn’t clipped in, or I fear the worst. Even without clipping in, I had by far, the worst fall that I have had so far. I was at a decent speed when I entered the pothole and totally lost control of my bike. I actually flew off to the right, and my bike went to the left. I crashed on the fence and landed (thankfully) on my butt (thankfully, cause landing only on my right side would have killed me).
I collected quite a crowd with my fall. Lots of people came running over to see if I was ok, and helped me to a bench. After sitting down, I went by my bike to see the damage. I had ripped my handle, turned my seat 45 degrees in the wrong direction, and my chain was off the gear! So I ended up walking back the entire path.
New goal for my next three rides? Fall free riding (not free fall riding 😉 as I guess I have been doing thus far)
Thankfully, after this terrible day, I did not fall more this week. Not that I am extremely proud of it. I was so nervous, I didn’t go beyond my comfort zone. On the team ride on Saturday, I again didn’t go ride on the street, and chose to practice stopping and getting off my bike instead. Which was good in a way, because I suck at stopping my bike, and that won’t do on the road.
This morning, I am happy to say, I did go much farther than before, and had a safe ride (forgot my helmet – but the ride went well.) I did 10 miles, on my own, and loved every minute of it. My arm’s are hurting from the new position, but I am sure its a matter of time, before my body adjusts to it.
Goal from week 1 continued (focus on positioning) and new goal for this week – safe fall free riding.
I am hoping to ride on the streets by next weekend, working towards that this week. Wish me luck!
And lastly, I am riding to raise money to help the research to find a cure for cancer. Please donate here to support the cause (its a tax deductible donation and it will change someone’s life).