Wildcard Workout

Back in January, in the midst of an amazing sale at REI, I made a super purchase:

I finally got to take it for its inaugural ride!

Ironically, I am actually sort of afraid of riding. I’m not sure how or when it happened, exactly, but it seems to be adult onset. Last summer, when training for my first triathlon, I took spin classes 2-3 days a week and only actually rode a real life bike twice before race day (for which I rented a bike from a local tour company).

I know, it probably sounds crazy to people who have known me for a long time.

Most afternoons and summer days throughout my childhood and adolescence were spent cruising around the neighborhood and in the woods at the park with my brother and our posse of friends.

When I moved to California after college my best investment was my hot pink beach cruiser. It was my primary and favorite mode of transportation – to the gym, to the office, and to the bar. Parting with it when I headed east for Boston was a total bummer.

For most of my life I loved riding bikes despite risks and injuries. One summer vacation while biking in Maine, I got nervous at the closeness of passing cars and face planted into a pot hole, winning myself a ride to the mainland on the emergency ferry for x-rays of my jaw and stitches in my chin.

Tragically, a friend of mine from UNH died after a bike accident during my senior year, and even though I’ve been on a bike since, I suspect the roots of my bicycle-induced anxiety are planted firmly around this terrible accident. Recently, while watching “This is 40”, I felt physically uncomfortable watching Paul Rudd’s character racing around on his bike. So weird.

Wanting to continue to compete in triathlons, I have to get over this fear, so until I get comfortable, I bully Nik into chaperoning my rides and ushering me across busy streets like my own personal bicycle guide. It also means I get company during workouts, which is the very best.

We took a 9 mile ride on Sunday afternoon and, even though I got nervous every time I got going too fast, I had a good time, didn’t crash, and really enjoyed my new bicycle.

On my bucket list for this summer, aside from the Hyannis Sprint Triathlon and Cranberry Olympic Tri, is taking a trip down to the Cape to ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail… with stops along the way for oysters and sauv blanc, of course.

Nothing like taking on your fears with the incentive of fresh seafood and adult beverages as a reward.