After the difficult final months of 2021, and a January that felt like an eternity, I finally got back to working out again. I’d gotten tired of jogging, and working out at home was getting boring. I wanted to try biking.
Late last year, Dante let me borrow his folding bike. A few weeks ago, I started biking around the village. I’d never been one for biking regularly, and I hadn’t had my own bike since I was a kid, so this was definitely something new for me!
One Sunday, Lucas and I went to the park with the bikes, and I told him, you have to teach Mommy to bike! It was fun and stressful, as I was terrified of falling, and I was watching over Lucas, and I was worried about him falling too. I was nervous and excited, and I ended up with raw palms from gripping the handlebars too tight, and a painful bottom because I was just wearing cotton shorts and I wasn’t used to the seat.
One morning, I got up early so that I could try biking around the village on my own, without having to worry about Lucas. I wore my workout gloves to protect my hands. I wore thicker shorts. And I remembered to wear a helmet!
As with the first time, I was terrified of falling. I was terrified of going downhill. I didn’t know how to use the brakes or how to navigate humps or corners. I went around the park a few times before I found the courage to bike through the smaller streets. I was gripping the handlebars so tightly that it turned, which I only realized because I noticed that the brakes were at a weird angle. Because I was so tense, my arms ached, and so did my back and my neck. And because I wasn’t used to it, my bum ached again!
Because I didn’t know how to use the brakes or ride over humps, I sped down a street and almost fell when the bike crested a hump that was taller and steeper than I expected. I must have skidded six feet past it, and I squeezed the brakes too abruptly, and I almost fell. I have a bruise on my left calf, and I’m not sure if that’s from a pedal hitting my leg.
The next day, my arms ached!
Still, I persisted. The next two times were better, and I clocked in five kilometers just cycling around the village. I learned to squeeze the brakes gently, and I even learned to feel a little more comfortable about going downhill. I felt my thighs burning as I biked uphill, and I learned to slow down at corners and intersections. I made a conscious effort to relax my grip, to adjust my seat, and to relax my body as well.
I’ve gone to Decathlon and gotten gear: gloves, padded cycling shorts, a bottle cage, a bell. I bought a cushion for the seat, but it turned out to be the wrong size. Dante gave me elbow and knee pads.
I have some swelling on my ankle, probably from the unexpected exertion of pedaling, so I bought ankle support too. I hope to be back on two wheels again soon, and much more comfortably too!