Sometimes You Have to Get Back on the Bike

17 May

One of our goals has been to not only minimize our impact on the environment but also to live a healthy lifestyle that centers around our values.  We have been pushing each other to look deeper into our need for stuff, and learning to live more simply and happily.  We love to ride bikes.  We love to be outside and active.  The freedom of biking has invigorated us and pushed us to raise awareness for cyclists by the simple act of riding, as well as minimizing our consumption of gasoline.  So Eric and I are currently biking down the path towards using two wheels instead of four as our primary mode of transportation.

Recently both of our cars decided to die on us.  First, it was the little black Kia Rio and then my bright red Grand Am.  My father, being the saint he is, gave us his old Mercury Sable, which we christened “The Dadmobile”, and we were officially a one car household.  This being the case, I now had the opportunity to live the lifestyle I had been wanting.  Living in Texas, this is no easy task, but luckily our location made it a possibility.

So there we were one amazing spring evening heading out to the bike trail that runs along the Trinity River here in Fort Worth.  We glided down the hill where we exit our apartment complex in our colorful jerseys about to go get a great cycling workout.  I said, “Hey baby, I may not go as fast because I’m still a little nervous from what happened the other day on Elphie.”  Elphie is my big honkin’ cruiser that was the first bike I’ve had since childhood.  I named her Elphie because anytime Eric would ride her, he would always sing the Wicked Witch’s theme from Wizard of Oz.  And I am obsessed with Wicked, the musical.  Thus, the name Elphie was born.

I had taken her to the grocery store the other day, only to get cut off while riding in the bike lane by an old man in a huge Cadillac.  To make matters worse, not long after that I had been taking a ride to Target in the rain on my road bike I named after Janis Joplin (Yes, I name my bikes! Get over it!), and bit the dust going up that same hill at our apartment complex.  This was the first time I had fallen while in motion on my bike, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a bit apprehensive since those experiences.  Normally feeling powerful and free on Janis, I now felt slightly uneasy.

Almost seconds after I made this declaration to Eric, my wheel dived into a deep rut that ran exactly parallel to my skinny road bike wheel.  Before I knew it, my wheel stuck in the rut, and my bike crashed onto the ground, carrying me with it.  My right hip and elbow scraped against the pavement, and my legs immediately turned to Jell-O.  Hello, road rash!

Eric helped me up and asked if I was alright.  “Yes”, I said, even though my pride and my confidence had been extremely shaken.  Once the shock had worn off and Eric was certain that I was okay, he looked at me smiling and said, “Well, it looked awesome!”  He started complimenting the gash on my elbow and told me how tough I looked.  He was trying to make me feel better, but I was not in the mood.  I felt like I needed to bathe in Neosporin.  I started pacing along the curb, questioning everything I’d been wanting since I got into cycling.  I was nervous, but I told myself that I couldn’t let this little incident stop me from living the life I wanted.  So I got back on the bike.

I cautiously made my way out to the trail, feeling like every small bump or rock was going to make me fly into the Trinity River, but I didn’t fall.  I still felt wobbly and I’m pretty sure Janis was a little bruised also, but I kept going.

At the risk of sounding cliché, sometimes you have to get back on the bike.  Nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy. And there is nothing wrong with gaining some battle scars along the way.  What I actually achieved though was not giving into my fear.  Instead Janis and I rode together, got through it, and I am continuing to live the lifestyle that I love.  Tomorrow will be less intimidating, and the day after that will be even better.

LIFE LESSON:  Sometimes riding with Janis is going to be a little scary, but she damn sure knows how to bring the fun. 🙂

In Health & Happiness,

Kacy

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2 Responses to “Sometimes You Have to Get Back on the Bike”

  1. shelleylett May 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    Love love your blog Kacy! I am on your alert system and so far they have been joys to read! I think you will be proud of me and also you will be a source of encouragement, but Sean Hermes and Chris have been built me a 3-speed road bike and I can’t wait to start riding! I also want to try and cut back on gas consumption and just being overall good to our environment..I mean you two know how much that means to Chris and I and I just love that you and Eric put a great amount of importance on the environment, what you eat, and how we are effecting things around us everyday. Love you!

  2. ThePioneer May 17, 2011 at 10:32 PM #

    I’m deployed to Spain right now supporting Operation Free the Oil..er People. I miss riding so much. The weather here is perfect and I even have the free time, but I can’t ship my Motobecane here by military post. Thanks for a good bicyling blog.

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