So my husband bought me a bike for our wedding anniversary last month.
It was a sexy slender yellow cyclocross bike similar to a road bike except you could ride it off road on non technical terrain.
Sometime last year, I wrote about our virgin ride during the OCBC race. Since then we had packed the bikes, returned them to their rightful owners and moved house to half way around the globe.
My biking skills remained as amateurish as a year ago and my biking muscles are as unseasoned and undeveloped as then. I still panic when I brake and worry that I might collapse into a heap with the bicycle and me. I haven’t been riding since then.
The roads here aren’t bike friendly. For the most part, there are no bicycle lanes and the cyclists who ride on the roads look like they are doing the Tour de France. It is really intimidating.
The only place that I ride was around our estate, on the pedestrian pavement.
Then we found a stretch of road with a designated lane for joggers and cyclists. It was a small lane that was part of the road, not the pavement that I am used to. That means I have to keep to my lane, cycle in a straight line and not swerve left and right too much.
For someone who needs half a lane to cycle, this makes me nervous.
I decided to check out the place the other day. After dropping the kids at school, I packed my new bike onto my minivan and drove half an hour to get there.
It was a bright and sunny morning, I found a car park near to the start of the bike lane and spent the next 15 minutes behind the steering wheel, monitoring the traffic that went back and forth between where my car was parked and the bike lane.
You see, to get to the bike lane, I had to ride past the busy traffic, pass a stop sign, which means I had to signal the direction I want to turn while holding onto the bike with one hand. To me, that is scary! Especially if there is a monster truck following right behind me. So there I was, caught in a dilemma, struggling and battling between fear and want.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, I hopped off the car. The air was crisp and fresh; it was beautiful, almost too perfect a morning to let it go to waste for not daring. I took a deep breath, mounted the bike, and rode in the car park to warm up those leg muscles. In reality, I was still mustering up my courage to go onto the road. After a ridiculous number of rounds around the car park and in a moment of rashness, I let go of my fear, turned out of the car park and got onto the road.
Before I knew it, I was riding down the bike lane, wind in my face, having the whole world all to myself.2