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Building Up The Confidence To Get Out On My Bike
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Building up the confidence to get out on my bike

By Hettie Pigott- Senior Wellbeing Co-ordinator 

2 min read

I am just going to put it out there that I love all things outdoors, rain or shine I’m there. However, cycling has always been something I have dabbled with, I can ride a bike, I enjoy it, but confidence is sometimes lacking, especially when I haven’t been for a while. I thought I would share with you my story of how getting my road bike out for the first time in a while went. I am sure many of you like me had decide to dust of the bike from the shed or garage and head out, whether this be on or off road. As mentioned, it had been a while since the bike had ventured out, but I thought as the saying goes ‘it is just like riding a bike’, I would be fine.

So out it came, firstly conducting my M Check, checking the tires,which were flat,so no shock there, so the pump came out, a bit of oil on the chain, it’s working great! Helmet found that I am ready to go.

I decided with my partner to go for a short tester ride around where we live, we have road bikes, so it was straight on to roads. The first bit of the ride went well; quiet roads, apart from me not remembering what I am meant to do about gears and which paddle or clicker (their official names of course!), does what, but I was working it out. As we hit the main road and head up a hill, I thought I had nothing to worry about, it is just like riding the bike, it was going well. Then I went to change gear to head up the hill… and the chain came off. Not going to lie, I had a mini panic, but safely maneuvered my way to a pull in. With a bit, okay a lot of help from my partner, the chain was back on. I stressfully carried on for the rest of the ride, which went well apart from my own nerves of which gear should I be in or the feeling of going too fast. As we returned home, my partner gingerly said, “did you enjoy that?” to his surprise and my blood pressure, YES I did!

So much so that I suggested we go again, on a quieter route, the next morning. The one thing I realised when I woke up the next morning was padded shorts were needed! I delved into the back of the sports draw and found them. We planned a ride on a quieter route, and it was enjoyable, far less stressful and gave me the opportunity to practice gears and signalling. I would like to point out I have no way mastered these and my balance is a bit iffy, but practice does make perfect right?

After my introduction back to cycling which I am sure many of you have also experienced here are my thoughts:

  • It is not as simple as hoping back on and off you go, give yourself the time and the space to remember how to use the gears and practice different elements
  • Saddle sore is real! Where padded shorts if you can, this will make cycling so much more enjoyable, especially the day after!
  • Pick a quiet route where you can practice and build your confidence on the bike
  • If you haven’t been out for a while, try to go with someone who is supportive and will encourage you on the ride

If you fancy dusting off your helmet and going for a bike ride and want support or advice email Hettie at chasefit@ihlmail.org

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