Thursday, April 13, 2006

training: day thirteen

i went for a bike ride! on a real bike! my bike! it was a little cooler than i expected once i got moving. i'll need to add another layer next time. i need to raise my handlebar stem and adjust my clipless pedals/shoes, whenever i hit a bump, i come unhooked. mostly went at an easy speed, trying out shifting, cadence, "pulling" on the pedals. i did have one little sprint--when an obaachan (granny) went by on a pokey old moped, i chased after her. i did this for a few minutes, but it seemed to really make her nervous that i was right behind her (can you draft a moped?) and i was getting winded, so i stopped and went back to cruising speed. the 40 minutes went a lot faster than it does when i am on the stationary bike.

okay, moment of truth. i am pretty nervous when i bike. mostly i am afraid of wiping out. i do carry an id card written in Japanese and English with phone numbers in case i am totally damaged, so that helps alleviate some aspects of crash anxiety. i didn't learn to ride a bike until i was about eight. some of my issues may be related to the fact that i always had a bike that was too big for me, but i always feel like a crash is imminent. the little terry is rather light and nimble and i always have a this sneaking suspicion that it is going to squirt out from underneath me and it will all end in tears. and road rash. although, if i crash and bust something up and i get a piece of titanium as a result, i think that may just qualify me for "real cyclist" status. it doesn't help that the roads in misawa are full of frost heaves and chuckholes and wonky patch jobs, so that was a little rough. at least the japanese are accustomed to sharing the road with bikes, so that wasn't so bad, they don't panic or get aggresive. i appreciate the wide berth they give me...did you know i can bow on a bike? i can! i did a lot of bowing this morning because drivers were really kind to me. HOWEVER rounding a blind curve, a lady tried to pass a truck and she was coming right toward me and i really didn't have any shoulder to go onto, so a bail-out would have entailed going into one of the sewage ditches. urgh. that lady could tell i was cussing her out, especially because she was trying to pass in an area marked no passing! but back to my obsession with crashing. i had a really bad spill when i was a teenager, involving a near-collision with a car and me careening off into a ditch. i think that's when the anxiety really started. i am also obsessed with getting a flat tyre. (with my car, i am obsessed with running out of gas). all i can do is ride more, focus on booting the fearful, negative thoughts out of my head, and, uh, ride more.

training: resistance is futile

i had completely forgot about wind resistance because i am usually on the stationary bike. right now, it is trying to be spring so if it's not rainy, it's windy or it's both. and this morning, my dumb ass always managed to be biking into the wind no matter which way i went. it didn't ruin the fact that i had a really nice bike ride, though.

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