On yer bike! Learning to ride on the road…

I always seem to start learning something new just after the ideal situation to learn that particular thing has passed. I always welcome the extra challenge so I guess it kind of makes sense.

When I got back into swimming, it was the start of winter… in Melbourne! And now I’ve just started to cycle on the road after moving back to Sydney from Melbourne where it’s a cycling city!

I had my first taste of non-gym spin class cycling along the foreshore at Bondi Beach. It took a little while to feel comfortable and at one with my old Shimano racer Mr M had restored for me. And I had one crash into the railing going down the ramp from the upper foreshore to the lower level.

After this little test run I rode to Bondi Junction from North Bondi. I admit I was anxious most of the way and a little stressed being so close to cars while still being a little wobbly. I felt as though I should have had my L plates on.

Since then, I’ve had a ride up to the Velosophy bike shop at Fox Studios to get padded bike pants and new lights for night rides… yes, I thought this was getting a little ahead of myself but Mr M pushes me to challenge myself in all the best ways.

And so, we set off for Botany from North Bondi one late afternoon. This is the ride where I overcame my fear of riding on the road, started to make friends with the bike seat and felt my confidence begin to grow. 16 kilometres through Centennial Park and along Southern Cross Drive gives you plenty of time to adjust.

We’ve done that ride four times now. Each time gets easier and each time I notice different things around me along the trip. Like the quaint little house on a corner we pass. And new we know the corner store near our Botany destination closes at around 8pm.

It’s a wonderful feeling to cycle in the outdoors for such a distance. Although aware of the other cars, cyclists and people around me, it is also a great time to tune my thoughts into different channels.

I’m happy and proud of my achievement. I feel like I’ve just learned to ride my bike all over again!

PS: wanted to give a shout to my dear friend Joyce at CycleStyle – if you’re an urban rider, they have beautiful cycle accessories.

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