Holy moley. What a ride it’s been.
Eleven years ago I hated biking. I wanted to like it so much. I wouldn’t have admitted it back then, but I HATED it. Was terrified of it. Just getting on a bike made me break out in nervous sweating. I did it anyway because, well… triathlon. I liked the swimming and running and winning too much.
Ten years ago, Spring 2007,
I got really fucking determined “I AM GOING TO LIKE BIKING DAMN IT!” I spent some time only biking in the easiest situations. No traffic, only smooth clean paths in perfect weather. Over the summer, with guidance, I started biking on roads. Even managed to do a solo bike camping trip. Even though day two ended in exhausted tears I was proud that I hadn’t been too scared to do it.
Eight years ago, December 2009,
Addled on romance I agreed to become a year round bike commuter. Feeling like a badass was the only reason it was worth the effort, discomfort, and residual anxiety.
Four years ago, Summer 2013
I discovered that I LOVED bike commuting. I preferred it. Sometimes I could have got a ride or drove, but I actually chose biking. I was fully transformed! I was a butterfly!
Two years ago, August 2015,
I had my first serious bike crash. Riding 20mph downhill, a pothole bounced me off my bike. It left me with a little emotional trauma. “Downhills make me nervous. As does questionable roads. Even just the illusion of uneven roads. Such as downed autumn leaves and dappled sunlight. Beautiful or scary?”
Turns out I have a biking fairy godmother. Anne fixed my bike after the crash. Then last fall lent me one her bikes from her fleet and patiently guided me in very basic mountain biking. At first I was panic screaming at everything…trees, mud, logs…
I not only survived, I wasn’t even miserable. It was like Disney magic…
only replace the tiara and ball gown with a helmet and dirt.
Two days ago, May 27th 2017,
I did a race that included single track mountain biking. Granted, it was totally beginner level. But there were ups and downs and tight turns and rocks, and narrow passes, and lots of roots and stumps. I fucking did it. And there was minimal screaming and no wining or crying.
Reflecting on this ten year journey blows me away. I am so proud of myself for taking all these tiny steps that have led me to this place. Sometimes I set out with a big goal in mind. Sometimes it’s only in looking back that I can see how far I’ve come.
So I’ve added “Biking” as a Storyline in the menu bar to collect all the times I’ve shared biking related stories. From my triathlon journey, to bike commuting, to the bike crash, to my next story… Team Velocikitty Snuggles at the Rib Mt. Adventure Race!
did you know that when you were only a couple weeks old your dad took you (in a tiny cotton chest sling baby holder) for a bike ride downtown in the middle of traffic. I was riding behind you, terrified for you and thought he was insane but , You know Zhao.
Somehow I’m not surprised. I also have memories of being in that child bike chair that attached to the back rack.
Love your inspiration and your graphics!
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