Posted by barb on May 12, 2003 in Biking |

Man, I am so out of shape. I’ve known I’ve been out of shape, but getting out on my bike is really driving the point home. Andrew and I went out on the bikes yesterday morning, and our little 3.5 mile trip just killed my legs. I’m a little embarrassed riding with him, since I know that he could 1) go much faster and 2) go much further without me.

He seems happy, though, to go out with me. He’s proud of me for just getting out there. Plus, I’ve been prodding him to get out on his bike. The past couple summers, he kept saying that he wanted to get out on his bike Saturday and Sunday mornings, but he rarely did. My goal is for us to get out every Saturday and Sunday that it isn’t raining (or scary-wet from a night rain). We started last weekend (May 3), and have met the goal so far (Saturday, 5/10, it was raining, so we didn’t get out).

Besides being out of shape, I’ve found that I’m completely terrified of riding over anything remotely sandy or gravelly. I’m also white-knuckle scared of riding on wet roads/sidewalks. My sand/gravel fear comes from two accidents I had long ago.

When I was a kid, sometime before I was 12 (because I got a 10-speed bike at 12, and this incident happened on my “Desert Rose” bike), I rode through a large sandy patch just to see what would happen. Well, a big, huge boo-boo on my right knee is what happened. Fortunately I was just a couple driveways away from home; unfortunately my parents had just left for the evening, leaving me in the care of my brothers. Now, they actually did a good job of getting my boo-boo cleaned up, and lovingly tried to get me to stop crying, but it would have been nice to have Mommy or Daddy there — they are just better with boo-boos. Lest you think the boo-boo was small, I actually had a scar from it for years — until my second bad accident on sand overwrote the scar.

The second accident happened sometime between August and December 1995, while I was living in the dorms at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM. Since my car was still in Minnesota with a broken clutch, I spent my summer earnings on a scooter (named Skippy) to get me around town. While making a turn onto the main street through town at one of the four traffic lights, I accidently went through a sandy patch, which was no match for the thin tires on Skippy. Of course everyone at the traffic light stopped to make sure I was okay — please, people, just let me die in peace. When I got back to the dorm, I found a big cut on my right knee (erasing my earlier scar, but later replacing it with a new one) and some scratches on both of my arms. I remember that I was wearing one of my favorite sweatshirts at the time — a brightly colored, vaguely tie-dyed thing. I was able to keep wearing the sweatshirt for a few more years, but there were several small holes from the scooter accident to serve as a constant reminder.

I’m scared of the wet roads because the two times I’ve had my car out of control have been in the rain — once the first time I took my parents’ car out by myself (no damage to the car or me, but I did do a 180 in it), and the second time in Albuquerque.

I’m going to try to overcome these fears slowly. Afterall, my tires are much, much better than those on my old Desert Rose bike and Skippy.

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