Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This Duck is Nothing But A Big Chicken!

Wow, so today's long ride was an epic FAIL!  I picked out a 40 mile route with a 10 mile option and headed out to ride on a beautiful but windy afternoon.  I climbed aboard and took off.  I was probably 500 ft. from the car when the first big wind gust caught the bike (remember those BIG, aero shapes on the ultra-light carbon frame?) and it got a little squirrely.  Before long, every little twitch from the wind and every imperfection in the road surface was contributing to a mounting sense of panic.  After very few miles, I turned the bike around and gave up on the ride.

Sunday I did a group ride and I suspect that the group setting kept me from focusing on the fear.  I did have moments of panic, especially if I was close to the edge of the road and there was another rider to my left.  I simply rode on the left and stuck close to my friend TM who knew I was riding wounded.  The pace of the ride meant that I never really had a chance to get my head too far up my....

I sent all my riding buddies messages, checked the bike shop and meetup boards, and finally called a bike shop and admitted what was wrong.  I need to get on that bike.  I need to get out there.  I am too afraid to do it alone.

The first crash this summer meant that I got a lot more cautious about cornering and braking, not entirely a bad thing and not ultimately debilitating to performance.  This crash wasn't a mistake.  It was a big, nasty freak circumstance that flew out of a cow pasture and hit me in the face.  

I have always had total confidence on the bike.  I'd talk smack and back it up with a powerful performance.  I rode that bike like it was an extension of me.  Clipping in was like locking into a cockpit of a jet fighter.  When I ride I feel powerful, fast, free, AWESOME!!  Not timid, tense, scared, clutchy, panicky.

I have done the only things I know how to do.  I asked for help.  I called the people I know, admitted that I was scared, and asked for someone to ride with me.  I sent DW a message.  I am writing about it here.  Hopefully, I can find a riding buddy for tomorrow, then I can do the rest of the week on the trainer if I need to.  Next week, I should be able to find people to ride with me and I am hoping that at some point, I will relax and remember that I love this.


  1. Fear is not a bad thing, Duckie! You have been through a very bad crash. Anyone would feel the way you feel! I have yet to get out there as much as I would like because of all the stories I have read about crashing. And how many times I have been told, "not if, but when" I crash.
    I suppose it is similar to a car wreck. Fear is a common reaction. Give your self some time and I know you will be back at it.

    1. Thanks K. It is really uncomfortable to be afraid of something you love so much. I did find a buddy for tomorrow so i will try again. Hopefully, it will be better than today. The cool thing was the number of people that called me when I posted this. A lot of people stepped up to offer support.