Bicycles scare me. Because cycling is one of the approved sports for my joint issues, I’ve taken on this challenge. Initially, my biggest fears were riding over bridges, being bitten by a dog and traveling alongside traffic. I experienced each of those on one of my first rides. In college, I chose to walk/jog across campus and risk being late for class over riding a bike and risking falling, being run over, or hitting someone. In my last hometown, I had found friends with whom I felt comfortable riding. Since moving to Houston, I have three times loaded up my bike in an attempt to find a beginner’s riding group. Three times I’ve failed, and returned home without riding. Today, I found on arrival that the Beginner’s ride had been cancelled. Although my initial desire was to return home, I reminded myself that this is my NEW life. No longer will I be restrained by fear. It’s time to step outside my box and quit waiting to make friends. Today, I was going to venture into the cycling world, on my own.
First step, find a bike trail. Thanks to Yelp and Google, I ventured to the nearest bike trail which turned out to be nothing more than the end of a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood. In the past, such a sign would have sent me home, but not today. I was determined to find a trail, which I did, even though it was quite further than I suspected.
It had been months since my last ride. I was extremely nervous to find the trail in a busy park, complete with babies in strollers, dogs, joggers, and other bicyclists. I kept the ride short, traveling slowly, and even walking my bike a couple of times for fear of hitting someone. But, as you can see, I did it! As I was riding, I began to feel more comfortable; enough to take the phone out of my pocket and snap this shot. Just don’t ask me to let both hands off the bars!