November 6, 2009

If I Were Queen of the Forest

I am terrified of my bike. I'm a little scared of falling off and I'm a lot scared of getting hit by a car but that's not my point. You know the old adage "you are scared of what you don't understand?" Well I don't understand my bike. And am therefore scared of it. And furthermore, don't ride it unless I have to. I haven't even looked at the thing since August. And that's not unacceptable.

It's the reason my weakest portion of triathlon is the bike. I am not scared of swimming and I'm not scared of running. Those events are all on me and me alone. But the bike? If the bike breaks I have no idea what to do with it. I'm too scared to ride it up to the gas station with my valve adapter to put air in the tires. What if I explode my tires? I don't know what it is that intimidates me so much. Is it because it cost so much money? Is it because I haven't really done much mechanically? I'm not bad at putting things together and fixing things that are broken but those things weren't really on the same complexity level as a bike. See what I'm doing here? I'm talking myself out of my capability. I need to snap out of it.

I took a brief bike familiarity course with the Albany Learning Center just so I knew which parts were supposed to move and which parts weren't. I remembered how to take my front wheel off and that there are two kinds of bike valves. That's about it. The problem with that course was that it wasn't hands on. I watched an experienced bike dude do all this stuff on a brand new bike that looked nothing like what I had at the time. So it was marginally helpful. My friend, very bike savvy friend, told me about this bike rescue in Troy, across the river. There are two nights- one night is a supervised fix-your-own-bike thing and the other is (probably exactly what I need) a hands on how-to-use/fix-your-bike workshop. So I'm going to check it out because I really want to feel more comfortable with my bike and subsequently ride it more.

Now I just need to work up the courage to go.

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