On the Road

On Sunday, I went on my first real bike ride.

Let's.....do this.....?

Let’s…..do this…..?

That’s my worried face.

There were worried tears as I got dressed, as I drove to the start of my route, and as I put my helmet on.  It may seem insane but remember, I didn’t learn to ride in the wonderbubble of childhood invincibility.  I’m learning as an adult who has fallen down, been in car accidents, and has generally been banged up a bit.

I set off with the intention of riding around Bay Farm island.  From my research, there would be a paved path around the perimeter of the island.  And there is.  I just didn’t follow it.

Obviously the blue part of the map is land...

Obviously the blue part of the map is land…

Each one of those little, gray pins is a place where I stopped.  The first few miles were fairly smooth sailing.  I stopped a couple times to decide which way to go or just to calm down.

Around mile four, I ventured on to real roads!  It was fairly early in the morning so there weren’t many cars on the street.  I actually preferred the smooth paved roads to the bumpy bike path.  I had a bike lane most of the time and cars passed me with a wide berth.  As nervous as I was about the *idea* of riding with cars, the reality of road riding was very freeing.

So, why did I tear up several times during the morning and off and on ALL day when I got home?  Well, if you take a look at miles 5-8, the route is a mess.  Stops, starts, and a LOT of backtracking.  I ended up in some residential streets and got lost literally 15 times.  I was near the end off my ride and every time I looked down at RunKeeper, I was FURTHER away from the goddamned bridge back to my car.  It was absolutely maddening.  Because I’d veered off the bike path, I also had to contend with some busy intersections.  During the ride, I struggled with pushing off and beginning to ride.  Even when I had the right of way at an intersection, I was so afraid that I wouldn’t get my bike going that I let cars go by.  This situation probably came up three or four times and it was absolutely demoralizing.  When I write that, I feel silly and dramatic but in the moment, I couldn’t have felt further away from my triathlon ambitions.  The idea of riding a BIKE IN A RACE…..IN JUNE……  It just feels very far.

Eventually I got back to the bridge where my route began.  I looked like this.

This is my 0.005 seconds from crying face.

This is my 0.005 seconds from crying face.

I was really shaken up for the rest of the day.  Came home to Tim a puddle of tears.  I planned to run 5 miles but I was completely drained emotionally.  Instead, I ate an insane amount of terrible food and spent the rest of the day in bloated misery.

Look at me, growing.

With a couple days of distance, I am proud of that experience.  There were a number of positives:

* I didn’t die!

* I didn’t fall!

* I didn’t cause harm to any children, animals, or drivers.

* I didn’t get so lost that I couldn’t get back on track.

* I didn’t hurt.

* I didn’t QUIT.

Yesterday, I returned to Bay Farm for my 5 mile run.  I ran the part of the route that confused me so I would be prepared to ride it again this Saturday.  That’s right!  I’m going for a redemption ride this weekend to get comfortable with the route and my bike.

Oh, after YouTube teaches me how to fix this:

Whomp whomp.

Whomp whomp.

When was the last time you did something CRYING SCARY?


7 thoughts on “On the Road

  1. Sorry to hear your bike ride was full of frustrating moments! I hate getting lost…maybe get a garmin that can mount to your bike?

  2. Jenn K says:

    What time are you riding in Sat? Maybe I can come along?

    • Shauna says:

      YES. Earlier the better. Less obstacles to contend with. I would love that. Also, my chain fell off. Did I break my bike?

      • JennK says:

        Lets do it. Just tell me when. You didn’t break your bike, it happens. Bring it to a shop and have them show you how to fix it 🙂

  3. […] morning, I returned to Bay Farm for my second solo bike outing.  My first ride was pretty emotional and I’m happy to report that this one was tear-free.  Great […]

  4. […] * Learned to LOVE cycling.  Not sure I saw that one coming back in January… […]

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