So it turns out road cycling is quite stressful. Had my first shot on a road bike today. Couldn’t really put it off any longer as it’s less than 3 months till the cycle to Skye. (This is my next challenge, which I signed up for ages before the marathon – it seemed like a very long way away at the time). Yikes. A (terribly fit and good at cycling) friend has very kindly lent me one of her lesser bikes to practise on. I’ve been looking at it with a degree of trepidation for the last three weeks as I plucked up the courage (enthusiasm) to get on it.
Looking at the positives, I didn’t fall off, or get knocked off, or die. This I feel is a good way to start. However, here are the problems I have identified thus far (and given that I barely left the road on which I live, I suspect this list may grow):
1. I can’t really reach the ground so stopping is somewhat hazardous.
2. There is a very high middle bar which adds a further level of anxiety re stopping.
3. I initially thought it was one of those gear-less bikes for hard core cyclists so it was quite hard work. But I finally located the gear levers about 3 km into the cycle, hidden behind the brakes. It then took another 3 km to work out how they worked – for most of the remainder of the cycle I was changing gear in the opposite direction to which I meant.
4. Going downhill is terrifying. This is in part due to points 1 and 2, but added to this is the fact that I can’t really reach the brakes.
5. I can’t really reach the brakes.
6. Balancing on 3mm wheels is almost impossible, especially on roads in East Dunbartonshire, none of which are flat.
7. There are cars on roads.
8. There are angry people in cars who hate cyclists.
I’m thinking now it would be easier to run to Skye, rather than cycle there, but I don’t think that would be allowed. So if it’s OK with you all, I may share some of my cycling pursuits with you as I aim for the Skye……