July 28, 2010

Cycling 101 - Featured Writer Stephanie Hancock

CYCLING 101 - Stephanie Hancock
When it comes to cycling, I'm the first to admit that I am way out of my comfort zone. Running is easy - you just kinda put one foot I front of then other and go. Sure, there are things you can hone in on, like form and intervals, but pretty much anyone can jog without much instruction. Swimming I do just because I like it and since I took lessons as a kid, it also pretty much just happens. There are tons of things I can work on there - balance, technique, and conditioning - but it doesn't make me uncomfortable. Not like my bike does.
So I used to think cycling was just hopping on and going, like lacing up my running shoes and taking off. I guess for most cyclists that's really how it is, but for yours truly this is a new sport for me and new things terrify me. Ever meet someone who wants to be perfect at anything she tries? And if she isn't doing it right she's convinced she's a full-blown failure? That'd be me. So the very fact that I've been hopping on and joining rides is a huge deal for me.

Why in the world am I even stretching myself like this if it's so tough? Well, because of a lot of reasons. Some of the very neatest ladies I know are great cyclists (and also very patient, especially when I had flat a few rides ago). I love being in their company. It is also a fabulous cross-training workout, which helps curb boredom and avoid over-use injuries while training for marathons. I'm also branching out because my husband, who can't run, can (and does) ride, so this is something we can do together.
And the number one reason I'm sticking with this sport - well, surprise surprise, because it's just plain fun! I don't need to know all the ins and outs of components and cadence and climbing before I have fun. I don't need to be an expert at the sport before I even dare try it in the first place (how backwards is that?)! That knowledge will come with experience, and if I make a mess of things in the meantime, well, so what? At least I'm having a good time.

With winter gone and basement workouts on my trainer now a dim memory, I am thrilled to get out and go farther and faster on wheels than ever in my running shoes. I still love my running (and swimming), but my cute little bike is becoming quite the friend. Who knows, I may even get serious enough to invest in a really cool bike someday (I'll see if I can impress my husband by becoming a biker chick).

Now that I'm daring to make a fool of myself (and honestly having too much fun to care anyway), I'm beginning to dare to learn the mysteries of the bike universe and have even asked my husband to teach me to change a flat. Yup. I asked. I haven't actually learned yet, but hey - baby steps, right?


Jillicious said...

great post, steph! you're a great biker . . . just don't overthink it! you know more about cycling than i do! ;)

Floyd said...

I don't usually spend a lot of time online reading blogs or article unless the are about football or cycling. So this quite the unexpected bonus to come across this post. It's always nice to put the trainer away till next winter.

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