You probably don’t pay that close attention, but for some crazy reason you do, you might be wondering why I posted about the fabulous bike I got after 2 years of wishing and dreaming.

Well, let me tell you.

total crisis panic button

I became absolutely paralyzed by fear.

Fear that this bike was too good for me.

Fear I didn’t deserve this bike.

Fear that I would break it. Wreck it. Destroy it.

Fear I wouldn’t like it.

Fear I wouldn’t want to ride it.

Irrational? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. Going to keep me from riding? No. I mean, eventually.

panic button

After years of researching, saving, and waiting for the day I could finally own a road bike, it finally happened.

And then I absolutely panicked. Never once did I think about what it would be like to actual RIDE that bike. That I knew NOTHING about bikes. Not about REAL bikes- bikes I could break and destroy, not hybrid bikes that fell apart every time I blinked but didn’t care about.

broken bike

Not once did I think about where I would ride. Who I would ride with. How I would ever learn to ride on the road. The time it would take to ride.

What finally convinced me to go with this bike was that the bike guy said I would be significantly more comfortable on this bike when I was riding longer than 25 miles. Did I ever think about how far 25 miles is? No. Not until I took my bike out for the first time and rode 4 miles. FOUR.

25 miles on a bike is like 2 hours. Maybe more if you’re slow like me. How many days a week do I really have time to ride a bike for TWO hours?? Or more?

That four mile ride was all I needed to panic. Absolute, outright panic. The gears overwhelm me. I can barely remember what’s up and what’s down. I’ve been terrified of cross-chaining ever since I learned what it was. How do I avoid it? Doesn’t that mean you miss out on like half the gears? And how do I know I’m about to do it without staring down at the spinning gears between my legs? I certainly can’t do that on the road.

{I mean, seriously, if I Google “chain falling off bike”, a picture of my bike comes up.}

chain falling off bike fear

And oh the road. I thought we had enough trails to ride on so that I could avoid the road altogether. But running trails and biking trails are totally different. You cover mileage a lot faster on the bike- which means you run out of trail a lot faster. And parts of the trail turn to gravel and rough patches; wooden bridge slats; tree-root infested dirt segments. Road bikes are supposed to be on pavement. Will 10 yards of rickety bridge pop my tires?

How will I ever learn to ride well enough, or fast enough, to keep up with the “real” cyclists? The ones who meet at the crack of dawn Saturday mornings, on the way home from work on Wednesdays, or Sunday afternoon before meeting for coffee. The ones who could teach me how to ride on the road. The ones that consider 17-19mph slow. The ones who consider a 3 hour ride to a different state a “casual” ride.

bike crash

How do I know if that clicking in the bottom two gears is normal, or if something’s about to break? What about the constant clatter of what must be the bearings in the back wheel? You can’t read these worries away {my usual coping mechanism}.

Insane. Irrational. I know. {Even more ridiculous considering I’ve ridden more than four miles. Including the 12 miles I rode on this very same model bike a few weeks ago.} I feel ridiculous even just typing this. But it’s real. I promise. After my first ride I called the bike store and asked them to take it back. Ok, I begged. Begged them to let me bring it back and get a bike with streamers and training wheels. One I couldn’t possibly break. One that I could leave out of my sight for .2 seconds and not freak out. There might have been tears involved. Ok there were definitely tears involved. Lots of tears. {The answer was no, in case you were wondering.}

fear face

So there’s really only one thing to do. Get over it.

So I’m getting over it. I’m working on it. I’ve promised myself I’m not going to break it by looking at it. If I break the chain, I can get a new one. I can ride the 4 mile trail 80 times in a row until I want to venture on to the road, or get fast enough to keep up with the big boys. And, well, the liking it part? Let’s just hope as the panic dissipates, that part comes back.