I learned how to ride a bike, I believe, like most kids do.
I don't recollect riding with training wheels, but really- that was a long time ago.
What I do remember is learning how to brake on my big girl two wheeled bike.
My dad would stand on the sidewalk a mere few feet away from me and I would crash into him each and every time.
Well, I guess not every time since I did eventually learn how to properly ride a bike- so I thought.
Fast forward to now.
My face is on the ground, the cement to be exact.
I don't remember how my face arrived here, it is a familiar place I have visited before however the events leading up to it I could not recall.
My head hurts, and yet I'm wearing a helmet.
I turn my face to the right and I see Bob running toward me with his bike in hand.
It's all that is swimming in my head. Is it ok? Did it get hurt? Do I need to get it fixed?
All questions I should be asking myself yet my bikes health is all I care for.
"Take it easy" I hear from voices I do not recognize.
I turn on my back and realize two unknown cyclist where at my side helping me up.
I see my shirt had risen up and there is a gash across my hip bone.
Two strips of red raw skin were across my forearm.
Its red, not bleeding but raw as well.
I look over to Bob. My new cycling friend I had met a mere three days prior to this accident.
He hands me his water bottle
"For the blood on your face" is all he said. But it was his facial expression that made me think... I really screwed myself up this time. I had never scratched up my face before.
(^^^this was only part of it )
I feel ok. I tell myself.
It's going to be ok- I reiterate.
Bob is talking. But the only thing I catch is something about going back and "did you want to continue?".
"Heck yeah... lets keep going!".
Was it the safe choice?
I don't know
Was it the sane choice?
I doubt it.
Eating cement three miles into your ride isn't the ideal way to end a training ride.
So... I kept going.
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
The choice I made, in my mind, was the right one.
Accidents happen, its a fact. You do your best to prevent them yet they occur when you least expect it. It is how you respond, how you react that will further your training or regress it.
When running in the mountains, there are uncertainties that can put you in peril. You may step on a rock incorrectly or slip on the extremely narrow path of sand, you may be have rolled your ankle or cut up your knee.
But rarely do you stop.
You have trained yourself to walk things off and to keep going.
When I was continuing with my bike ride I thought of how much I wanted to go home.
I thought of how much I wanted to complain.
I thought about how much I wanted to just not.
Not get hurt.
Not put myself in danger.
Then we stopped.
We were at mile 21.
"Should we head back?" Bob asks.
"Or we can do an intense four mile climb past Westridge- up Madeville Canyon".
50 miles altogether? Didn't really expect to go that long.
My not wanting to continue, my not wanting to exercise, my not wanting to put myself in danger- just flew out the window.
"It's up to you" he continues.
I cleared my head of all the negativity. It just isn't me.
And we continued.
He wasn't joking. Intense incline.
And I held onto my handle bars for dear life.
The best part of running in the mountains, cycling on the road- is the risk involved.
Overcoming those obstacles and gaining strength and experience each time is what makes me coming back for more.
It's training for life.
PostScript: It's been a few months, I know. I have been up to things, I promise. I have lacked the patience to sit and write my experiences but ALAS! I do have things to say but that's for another time!
Till next time,
Peace, love and happiness