Yesterday I had plans to meet some new friends who were coming over from Vancouver and I was picking them up from the ferry at 11:30am. Warren, Jeff and Emily were getting together to go for a ride at 11:00am but I wasn’t able to go with. I knew I wanted to ride though because it is too dark in the morning for my early rides through the week. So, I headed out solo with my tunes and Lily, my road bike. I had set two hours on my Garmin Forerunner 410 and was off. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go but I was aiming for 50k.
During the ride I thought about moments that had happened along the way on my ride with various people in my life both from Victoria and from Nova Scotia. Different places bring up special memories and I love that. Riding solo definitely has it’s moments.
I ended up riding to Sidney on the highway and back. I wanted to push myself, try to be consistent with my speed and move my legs. Before I got to the highway I was taking in all the smells along the way. I could smell someones breakfast they were cooking as I rode along part of the Galloping Goose, when I went by the Victoria General Hospital I could smell the scent of laundry being washed. You know that hospital sheet smell? And as I went through the little valley by the hospital I could feel the colder temperature there. It never fails to be a little colder through there so I try and ride a little faster to get to the warmer spot at the top of the valley. There I can smell the scent of cow manure so I am not sure why I rush to get there but that smell always reminds me of my childhood and growing up on the farm in Nova Scotia. Quite the combination by the hospital that is for sure.
As I ride along I also think about how I have improved my riding skills and how far I have come since the first year I started riding. Before I moved to Victoria I had never been on a road bike but Warren bought me Lily when I moved here four years ago.
Growing up I had rode a mountain bike or something like that but never a ‘skinny tire’ bike. That was what I called road bikes when I was younger. I can remember the first time I got on my bike. I was nervous and Warren made me take her for a few test laps in the parking lot of our condo building before we could venture out on the road. Such a wise one he is.
I have clip in shoes and that panicked me. What happened if I fell? Would I know how to un-clip in time and what foot would I use to do that? The whole thing was scary and then there were the gears. Oh my! That was a HUGE learning curve for me. The thought of riding on my own in traffic scared me and being able to shift my gears without Warren telling me what to do was next to impossible. Warren was very patient with me while I on the other hand wasn’t patient with myself at all. I almost gave it up riding because I couldn’t figure out shifting gears fast enough and that was frustrating me. Four years later and that has all changed.
When I got back from my ride (62K) I felt great. I felt alive and my legs were tired but it was a good feeling. I had pushed myself and went farther than I had set out in my head to go. I felt ready to enjoy the day with my friends and be their tour guide around Victoria. I think back to if I had given up on learning how to ride my bike then I wouldn’t have had the moments and memories I do now. I wouldn’t have had a new way of getting exercise and seeing where I live, except in a car. I wouldn’t have had the feeling of being free and just taking in all the sites, sounds, and smells around me.
I am thankful for Lily and thankful to Warren for buying her for me. He and I have had some great moments together riding our bikes and I look forward to more adventures together.
Has there been something new in your life that you tried to do and really struggled to do it but have finally over come the challenge? Or did you give up? If you did give up maybe it is time to try again.
PS. Dear Lily, I love you. Love Kyla