Health & Fitness.

I Survived A Group Ride!

I mentioned recently that we had a strange/scary surge of cyclist/car accidents recently. It prompted me to write a Share The Road entry, mainly as the wife of a cyclist. Well, last night we had a solidarity ride/fundraiser event for two cyclists in our community that were hit recently. Because it was held at Redstone Arsenal, which is a secure location, we had to register in advance to get our names on an approved entry list. Last I heard, we had 200+ registered last night. And while I couldn’t see everyone because my husband and I started in the front of our line, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me all 200 showed up. It was AMAZING.

bikesEven though this was a solidarity ride, meaning the whole “speed” and “passing” thing shouldn’t have been too much of an issue, I was VERY nervous. I still do not like riding bikes. I do it on the Greenway, and when I do I enjoy it, but I hate group rides and I hate riding on roads. Part of this is because I’m still very new and not comfortable yet. BUT! Part of it is – THIS IS JUST ME. I am still a high-anxiety driver and I’ve been driving for 22 years. I still avoid dangerous roads and intersections and 90% of left turns AT ALL COSTS. So, while I do give a little bit of weight to the idea that more time on the bike will help, I don’t think I’ll ever been completely without anxiety on the bike because I’m not completely without anxiety in my car.

Donnie and I decided to stick with the middle distance group (sub-12 miles) and stick with the middle pace. They sent us out in groups and no one in our group seemed to want to go the “fastest” pace (which was still only supposed to be about 16 mph) so everyone left with the “middle” pace with Donnie and I kinda in the lead.


But once we got going I did okay. I learned how to do turn signals this summer which was a HUGE improvement from last summer. I was very proud of myself. I signaled at every turn last night even though we had safety support blocking intersections and there were cyclists all around me also doing signals. My signal was not 100% necessary but I did it anyway! Because I’m a big girl bike rider!

All in all it went well. I signed up for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon next July so I really need to get more comfortable riding on the road between now and then – even if I’ll never be SUPER comfortable. I’m not even really confident I understand the mechanics of my bike still. I panic every time I have to shift gears, assuming the entire thing is going to fall apart in the middle of the road. (I also have panic attacks relating to car issues too, this is just me.) But I’m hoping this adventure of training for an Olympic Distance Triathlon will help me with some of my issues.

I’m just not ever going to LOVE cycling. The same part of me that hates driving is going to always hate cycling a little bit. And that’s okay. I know I’ll do a 100-mile run before I’ll ever do an Ironman or even a half-Ironman! I’d rather run for 24 hours than bike for 3 or more.

But, I am pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, and that’s the only kind of progress that’s important right now!

1 thought on “I Survived A Group Ride!”

  1. My first husband was a cyclist so I try to be considerate of them when I drive. Today I came across 2 cyclist–one was riding on the sidewalk and the other one on the road. The one on the road kept swerving to the left. I know they have as much right to ride on the road as I do to drive on it but he was being very unsafe. I was glad to get around them when I could.

    You have made amazing strides in the last few years with your training! You inspire me to want to exercise 🙂

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