Skills and drills

4 Oct

life is like a bicycle

Today was my first bike skills session. Technically bike skills started last week but I was sick and couldn’t go to the session. No such luck today.

I’ll just put it out there now –  riding in a bunch terrifies me. I’ve always used the excuse, lame as it may be, that I don’t need to know how to ride with a group because in triathlons you’re not allowed to draft.

But this is another skill I need to learn and so even though for the entire two hours this afternoon I was riding with my heart in my mouth and hoping to god that no-one was going to brake suddenly in front of me, I stuck it out.

We all became very familiar with a certain car park in Barton because it seemed like forever that we just rode around and around in pairs, sometimes in a single line, focusing on signalling correctly, and pointing out any obstacles on the surface such as glass, branches, etc. Then there was the time we had to ride with one hand on the shoulders of the person next to us to get used to spacing. And finally braking without face planting – always a handy skill to have!

But it wasn’t time to go home yet. Ride to another car park where we were put through more drills – riding around little witches hats, placed in a straight line, weaving in and out as we went. Not so easy! Especially as there was a rider in front of me and another behind all the time and we were close. There may have been a few witches hats casualties! And finally the weaving in and out of witches caps placed in a circle. A couple of close calls when the person in front of me slowed almost to a stop which meant I had to do the same and there was a nano second of panic that I wouldn’t be able to unclip in time.

There was a mental high five and a huge sigh of relief when the session came to an end. I’d survived without stacking, without causing someone else to stack and I hadn’t made a complete fool of myself. Did I enjoy it? W…e…l…l, maybe, in parts but it was stressful. There is so much to think about when cycling with a group. It’s so much simpler on my own.

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One Response to “Skills and drills”

  1. Steve 05/10/2014 at 1:15 am #

    Certainly much more to cycling than just pushing on the pedals. You did well to survive without a stack. Good girl.

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