My next goal is to get back on my road bike. Today I went to Velo City and Mark put my clip pedals back on the bike for me. Prior to surgery I had gotten used to these pedals and really liked them. When I decided it was time to get back to cycling I had the pedals on both bikes swapped until I felt a little more comfortable with biking again. I’m not sure I am actually quite there yet.
I know most of my readers know what I am talking about and know much more about cycling and bikes than I do. For those of you who don’t have a clue what I am talking about, here are a couple of pictures.
When I bought the pedals and shoes last year I was offered the following advice: practice in a doorway in the house to learn how to balance and then move outside along the side of the house or a fence until you get used to the shoes and pedals. Oh, and you will fall. I took the advice and I have been fortunate because so far I have not fallen. I do not think that will last long, however.
I came home tonight and decided to try to get the feel for the pedals again. First I thought I would just practice in the driveway. That lasted for about 5 minutes. I came back inside to the doorway and practiced there for a while. Then I rode around the living room. Yes, I rode my bike in the house and terrified the cat. It’s good my mother is not alive because she would be horrified. I’m a bit unstable and I think that it is a combination of learning to regain balance and still being afraid. I was able to clip in and out without a problem though. In fact, it seemed a bit easier to release my shoes than I remember. I am sure that I will regain my balance and confidence on the bike with some practice.
Like other aspects of recovery, much of this process is mental. Of course there is a physical element of balance as well and anyone related to me knows what my brother’s childhood nicknames were for me. And if you don’t, I am not going to remind you. I no longer feel that those names are valid though. The image of the clumsy child is gone for the most part, though I have my days and moments.
Along with elements of fear, I think there are elements of control that I am dealing with. I cannot completely control if I fall off my bike. I just have to practice and work on not falling over.
This weekend I will work on my head and on my physical balance on the bike. I am confident that I will be able to manage to conquer both because my desire to ride again is too strong. I will have to see how I do before I decide which bike I will ride next weekend in Tour de Cure. I’m glad I have a choice.