Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Conquering My Fear of Mass Rides...

On Sunday I embarked on one of the scariest things I’ve ever done…a mass ride through the streets of Long Beach, San Pedro, Palos Verdes and back to Long Beach. The ride is called Tour de Cure which is a benefit ride for the American Diabetes Association. Boy, I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into. For starters, riding in masses freaks me out. I hate riding too close to people for fear of falling off my bike and getting trampled over. I fear not clipping out in time at red lights or trying to swerve away from another rider if he/she brakes too close. Needless to say, signing up for this type of event intimidated the hell out of me. Oh and did I mention that I signed for the 61 mile ride AND that there were hills, and by hills I mean practically mountains? Luckily I never saw an elevation chart or I would have easily backed out but I figured 61 miles was a perfect distance for me to gauge what my 56 miler for Vineman 70.3 would be like. I also signed up in honor of my dad who has diabetes. He is the reason why I have the relentless ambition that I do...thank you dad! I LOVE YOU!

Well in a nutshell…I hated it! Here’s what happened:

  • Fell off my bike at the start line
  • Got lost going uphill for two miles
  • Spent about a mile walking my bike up the steepest part of the ride
  • Fell off AGAIN as a cyclist pulled up too close to me giving me pointers (which I greatly appreciated but my fear of people riding close to me kicked in)
  • Freaked out again on the downhill as I hit speeds of 27 MPH
  • Called the BF in tears from fear if the down hills which I then had to again get of my bike and walk

There was some good to this though:
  • I met some really great people…thanks Team Cyclone and Team Cypress Church. You all were so awesome and supportive
  • Felt awesome once I got off my bike compared to others who were beat; I’ll have to trek 13.1 miles after my 56 mile bike ride for Vineman so this made me feel good!
  • I made it all 61 miles and three days later, no soreness!
  • Realized I STILL fear group riding and made a commitment to keep going out and tonight I did! 22 miles with a local bike shop team…I think I’m starting to get the hang of it!
Lesson learned here…keep striving, don’t give up, and remember, we all have to start our sport somewhere. To those of you out there fearing your first marathon, triathlon, whatever…get out there and do it because like the old saying goes, you won’t know if you try!