"Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance you must keep moving!"
When I got asked to be apart of this Joy Ride my immediate answer was YES! I think mostly because I had no idea what I was actually saying 'yes' to, just sounded like fun! Such a great group of people and a great cause. Am I a cyclist? No. Have I ever ridden a proper rode bike? No. Did I nearly fall off the first time I rode one? Yes! ha! So I got me a second hand bike, put on my make-shift lycra try hard cyclist outfit and took off for my first ride. Now you need to understand that where I live the hills are plentiful... only problem.. I didn't know how on earth you change gears properly on this new bike of mine so I rode to a friends house and the whole way there I didn't change gears once, cause i couldn't figure out how. My kind friend explained it to me, it was clear as mud! ;)
I have now been on a few rides. I'm the cool cat that has to look down at her gears every time she has to change cause I can't remember which gear I am in.
My first big ride (26km - hey I'm new to this) involved ALOT of hills but I have to say I conquered them (being able to change gears really helps). I reached the top of the last big hill and I knew I had a long down hill ahead of me (Praise Jesus) and right there in the moment of perfect anticipation I changed my gear to a more appropriate down hill gear (lets be honest, i don't even know what that means, but I flicked a switch and changed a gear) AND my chain fell off... MY CHAIN FELL OFF... now I don't swear but I think in that moment a certain word may have slipped from my lips, my heart stopped beating for a second and then started beating super fast.. you see I was out in the middle of not really anywhere (I mean it was beautiful but a cow isn't much help in my moment of absolute turmoil) and I've never had to fix a fallen chain before. Never fear, I had my mobile phone so I just called ... JUST KIDDING! I got off my bike like a pro and put it back on, all the while pretending I knew what I was doing, I think it was really just a fluke that I fixed it so easily and quickly and with that i was back on my bike to roll down a very big hill, a little hesitant to change gears again.
I went for a (52km) ride recently down on Beach Road (which was so beautiful) and I saw a lot of professional looking cyclists ride past me and I imagine in my head that I look just like them, I imagine they can't even tell that I am a beginner because I look so suave out there on the bike, when really I'm wearing running pants with a t-shirt, I have my runners on cause I haven't conquered cleets yet (I mean I don't even know if thats how you spell it), people feel the need to tell me their horror stories of cleets and falling over.. I laugh.. cause its funny but it won't be when it happens to me (stay tuned for my post about using cleets for the first time - happening later this week) and I'm standing on the grass covered in grease cause my chain fell off again and yes my butt was a little sore after that ride.. you see I don't have those AWESOME padded lycra shorts yet (I mean who doesn't want padded lycra shorts, I know I do!).
So my journey begins, my journey to try something new. If me going on a funny bike ride can help someone in the Hilltop Community it is worth it!
- Alyce Serpell