Firsts on a Bike: Baby Steps
You guys, I learned a lot today. I took little Olaf out for his first spin.. How to clip in and how not to clip in. How to clip out again. What happens when you don't clip out. It's scary!. Today was a day of a lot of firsts. And of baby steps. We started of in the garage, clipping into one pedal, then unclipping again, adjusting the height of the saddle.. From there, Roo held the bike while I clipped in my second foot. The next challenge was to kick off and stay clipped in with one foot. Then to add the second foot. That's where I plateaued for a while because it was freaking me out and because I haven't cycled in a while. Slowly it started making sense: clip in with the right foot, get going, try to hit the left pedal in the correct angle, clip out before hitting the garage wall. That's pretty much how it went down. Finally figure out how to turn around before coming to close to said wall.
Half an eternity later I was able to almost do it most times. But the garage quickly proved to be a bit small so my only chance was to head out and on the road. This was when the scary part started. I was useless at cornering, finally managed to go around a curve to the left and only relaxed when we had gone around the block to a quiet back street. Mind you this was after pulling into three driveways to take a brake and calm myself down. After a couple of ups and downs I turned on my Strava because "the ride didn't happen if it hasn't been Strava'd", right?
It took me a while to feel more confident, to be better at braking (is it normal for my hands to feel like they are too small?), to stand up on the pedals, to be overtaken by another rider and then by a car, to indicate. All in all, I felt pretty happy. Roo had expected that we'd get to properly ride somewhere but I think it was definitely enough to just go through the basics.
When we headed back home - a really long straight stretch along the main road with a proper cycling lane I started freaking myself out. I kept wondering why things were going relatively smoothly. And if I was going to be alright. I must have been going at a snail's pace but felt like I was speeding up more and more. I thought I couldn't brake so I shifted down. It didn't feel better. At this point I must have been really, seriously slow. And then the curb came closer and I forgot to unclip in time. My foot hit the curb and I started falling. Thankfully there were no cars passing at the time. The good thing is: I survived and it wasn't all that bad. I didn't get bruised but I am really proud of all of the little achievements I nailed today. If I can still sit tomorrow I shall keep trying.
Just a couple of questions for you: do you cycle with gloves? What about socks? And sunglasses?