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I Learned to Mount My Bike Today!


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#1 SierraSlim

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:39 PM

Hey, Y'all!

 

I did it, I Did it, I DID IT!!!   I was so upset yesterday I almost couldn't breathe, freaking out because I couldn't mount my bike without a curb or stool, and not wanting to go back to the bike shop for my issues with wrist pain and saddle soreness until I could do so -- because admitting to them that I had had my bike for a month and still couldn't mount it would have been just about unbearably embarrassing.

 

So last night I watched the YouTube video by REI (on how to mount your bike) about 30-40 times.  For the first time, I had noticed that she had her pedal at about the 9:00 position when she started, and I had always had mine closer to 11:00, so decided I would try that.  And then when I couldn't sleep, I thought about that and just visualized myself doing it over and over and over again. 

 

It was still raining this morning, so I was frustrated because I couldn't try.  But it cleared off this afternoon.  So I wore my tighter jeans to avoid butt-snag from the seat again, and talked Long-Suffering Hubby into going with me so he could watch from the side and tell me anything that looked off.  But the very first time I tried, it was better than it has been yet before, and every time I tried it got a little better and a little smoother, with the occasional wobbly beginning, but generally getting better.  We went about a mile with me getting on, pedaling 3 or 4 revolutions, stopping and getting off, and starting up again.  Anybody who saw me must have wondered what on EARTH I was doing with that bike,but I didn't care, I just wanted to learn it.  And I did! 

 

So we rode about 3 miles, then Hubby went home to take care of some things, and I rode another 5, stopping every once in a while and getting off and making myself mount again.  And I LOVED riding again, except for the wrist pain and saddle soreness, but once we can get to the bike shop we'll take care of those issues, too. 

 

I AM SO EXCITED!!!  It really is funny that such a simple thing as having the pedal too high could throw me off so badly, but that appears to have been what was causing most of the problem.  I also am starting off on the opposite leg than I had been before, but I don't think that really made much difference; it was just easier to get started without the pedal being so high.

 

THANK YOU for bearing with my roller coaster of emotions this past few weeks.  I never knew what a nice form of Valium cycling would prove to be for me!  It has become my drug of choice when I'm down, so being down about not being able to ride was a double whammy -- I had no drugs to solve that, lol. 

 

I did 8 miles today, eventually, after all the stopping and starting, and can't wait to get back to doing 10 or more and working up to 20.  I LOVE BIKING!!!!!!

 

Thanks, y'all.

 

Sierra Who Can Get On Her Bike 


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#2 Steve_A

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:55 PM

Sierra, I am so happy for you! That's great news.  You are the most perseverant person, and a real inspiration.  Keep it up ( I know you will)!  Steve



#3 BHOFM

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:56 PM

And did you get the back 40 plowed and planted?

 

Great, I knew you could do it!


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#4 SierraSlim

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:21 PM

Brad,

 

I'm gonna have to smack you, yet! 

 

Not only are the back 40 plowed and planted, but there's a corn maze in them of labyrinthine difficulty -- in the middle of which you'll find your favorite bicycle, lol.  And I love your sense of humor!

 

I wasn't so sure I could do it, myself.  But thanks for the vote of confidence.  With friends like y'all on here, it's easier to keep trying.

 

Sierra



#5 SierraSlim

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:24 PM

 

Hey, Steve.

 

Thanks, my friend.

 

It's interesting that you said I'm perseverant, because usually I'm really not.  Frustrated Hubby could not begin to tell you about all the things I've started and given up on half-way because it was either too hard or too time-consuming or got too boring or whatever.  So I was thinking about that very thing, this morning:  Why is biking different, for me?  I hadn't wanted to give up on the other endeavors, but I eventually did.  I'm already amazed that I haven't given up on cycling, particularly with my frustration the last few weeks.  And somehow I know I won't.  I'm not sure why, but biking is Different

 

Maybe it's because my other endeavors never paid me in gold by helping me lose weight, which has always been the ultimate impossibility for me.  Maybe it's because I lucked into this forum and found compassionate, insightful, helpful buddies to advise and encourage me along the way -- which has never happened with any other hobbies.  Maybe it's because I've finally found something to help me get healthy that I actually ENJOY doing.  Or maybe it's a combination of all of these plus others.  All I know is, it was driving me insane not being able to get the hang of it last week, and all I knew was I had to do it.  Period.  There was no 'or stop trying,' this time.  I just had to Do It. 

 

So (like you, thank you), I know I'll keep it up.  And that is a reward in and of itself, because it means I CAN learn new things at an old age, I CAN surmount difficulties along the way, and that means I CAN get healthy and stay happy as the years get meaner.  That is a really exciting thought. 

 

Thanks again for the encouragement.  As always!

 

Sierra

 



#6 Steve_A

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:05 AM

Sierra, I think you're right on about why cycling is rewarding of you, and for the rest of us.  The forums do make the experience better, as I discovered about 15 years ago when I was active in another cycling forum.  I'm so glad to be a part of this one; members like you make it interesting and rewarding for me, too!  Steve



#7 64Paramount

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:52 PM

Bravo!

 

That bike is gonna be just as comfy to you as your old cruiser pretty soon......but, it'll be faster!

 


Sometimes you may have to look very close to see it, but a measure of grace exists within us all..

#8 SierraSlim

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

Hi, Paramount!

 

She IS faster, and I'm loving it, lol.  I'm still no speed demon, averaging about 11-12 mph on my ride just now.  But when I go on my little 'sprints,' seeing how fast I can get between blocks or whatever, I love how quickly she kicks it in gear. 

 

What's interesting for me is how smooth and balanced she feels.  I mean, I had thought that my old cruiser was, too, but not in comparison to this one.  I can coast on her for blocks if I want, where the cruiser would get wobbly a lot faster. 

 

Once I get my wrist and saddle issues resolved, watch out world, LOL.  

 

Thanks, bud.



#9 Yojimbo_

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:31 PM

I'm sorry Slim, but I just don't see how getting on your bike could be so difficult.

 

Isn't  this something we all learn when we are 7 or 8 years old - maybe even younger?

 

I can't believe people have even put up How To videos on YouTube for this.


The universe is indeed expanding.............to get away from this planet!!!

#10 CalicoCat

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:52 PM



Originally Posted by Yojimbo_ View Post

I'm sorry Slim, but I just don't see how getting on your bike could be so difficult.

 

Isn't  this something we all learn when we are 7 or 8 years old - maybe even younger?

 

I can't believe people have even put up How To videos on YouTube for this.

Aw, that's not really fair :-(

 

One thing I love about cycling is that I am always learning something new and getting better. Every achievement brings with it a sense of pride (and comfort on the bike). I used to be afraid to race in my drops, and corner at speed (simple for some people, but terrifying for me). I got over those fears - well most of the time, if I over think some corners, I still freak out. . . But there is still lots that I can't do (suck at tight U-turns, can't bunny hop barriers, etc). For some people, these things are easy, but when I master them, it will be an accomplishment. I am sure that you have things you wish you could do better and that might be easy for someone else. Today, Sierra learned to mount her bike!

 

. . . have you ever had to practice a cyclocross mount/dismount? Kids are great at that, adults generally need some practice :-)


 


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#11 SierraSlim

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:40 PM

Calico, thanks for the defense!

 

I don't even own drop bars yet -- the idea terrifies me, lol -- and cornering at full speed does make me nervous, so it's very nice to know that I'm not alone and that it will continue getting easier.  Another problem I'm learning I have came about as a result of cycling with Dear Hubby.  My depth perception is so bad, it looks to me like there's not enough room on our bike path for both of us -- though clearly there is, because he's sometimes beside me.  But it makes me really nervous, like one of us will go off the edge.  I have to get used to biking with others to take my tour next summer, so I'm working on it.  Feeling comfortable biking with others will feel like an accomplishment, too!  So I have a lot of growing to do in that, plus probably a lot of things that I don't even know about yet.

 

It's nice to know I have friends here who will try to encourage that growth rather than disparage me because of my limitations. 

 

Thank you.  I appreciate it. 



#12 SierraSlim

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:49 PM

Yojimbo_

 

I did learn to get on a cruiser when I was 11 and got my first one, and yes I knew how to do that; it was easy because I could keep both feet on the ground as I got on.  However, if you've read any of my posts the past 2 weeks, you would know that for reasons I couldn't figure out, I kept stumbling and wobbling around trying to get on my new hybrid, on which the seat is so high I can't keep either foot on the ground.  If you found that easy the first few times you did it, I'm happy for you.  I didn't.  And since it IS on YouTube from multiple sites, I'm assuming I'm not the only one, which helps with the embarrassment -- unlike your post.

 

I'm sorry, Jimbo, but I just don't see how being nice to others could be so difficult.

Treating other people with kindness and respect, and not making fun of people with lesser abilities -- isn't that something we all learn when we are 7 or 8 years old - maybe even younger? 

 

Sierra



#13 Daddo

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:27 AM

Hey Sierra:

 

This thread was a good read.  After a while, you won't even pay attention to how you mount your bike, It's like walking, you get up from a chair and start walking, not even thinking about which foot goes where since you will be preoccupied with other things.  

 

Where the fun and memories will start is when you begin to have "adventures" with all of the ungraceful ways that we can get OFF of the bike. These usually occur when there are lots of people watching.

 

One of my worst was about thirty years ago when I was riding my "city bike" on the packed sand of Daytona Beach, My feet were tightly strapped onto a set of rattrap pedals (a mistake for the conditions, but I had just rolled down a ramp on to the beach a few minutes before). I was doing a very slow roll past hundreds of folks who were taking in the sun. I hit a patch of soft sand and the wheels sunk in bringing me to a dead stop.  Well, you can only balance for so long and I was so surprised that I did not use enough effort to pull my feet out of the straps.  It was almost a slow motion fall, over on to my side in full view of an amused audience.

 

 

Adiós, Daddo  ---  Daytona Beach, Florida - USA
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen." ("What we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence.")


#14 SierraSlim

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 06:40 AM

Hi, Daddo.

 

That's so funny!  I mean, I'm sure it wasn't at the time, but I can envision this sudden stop and then gentle fall to the side in front of all those people.  I think I would die, lol -- and that's the number one reason I haven't gotten clipless pedals, because I KNOW I would forget to unclip when I came to a stop. 

 

I haven't had my first wreck yet, and I know that will happen at some point, too.  I skidded on some leaves yesterday and almost lost it, but managed to pull back upright just in time.  I just hope I don't break any bones when the time comes, because at my age we don't heal as fast as 20-year-olds do, and also hope that not toooo many people are watching.   

 

Thanks for the reply!



#15 Yojimbo_

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:30 AM



Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

Yojimbo_

 

I did learn to get on a cruiser when I was 11 and got my first one, and yes I knew how to do that; it was easy because I could keep both feet on the ground as I got on.  However, if you've read any of my posts the past 2 weeks, you would know that for reasons I couldn't figure out, I kept stumbling and wobbling around trying to get on my new hybrid, on which the seat is so high I can't keep either foot on the ground.  If you found that easy the first few times you did it, I'm happy for you.  I didn't.  And since it IS on YouTube from multiple sites, I'm assuming I'm not the only one, which helps with the embarrassment -- unlike your post.

 

I'm sorry, Jimbo, but I just don't see how being nice to others could be so difficult.

Treating other people with kindness and respect, and not making fun of people with lesser abilities -- isn't that something we all learn when we are 7 or 8 years old - maybe even younger? 

 

Sierra


Well yes, I have been reading your posts for the past 2 weeks about how you're having trouble getting on the bike.

 

I have trouble understanding how it's so difficult.  I mean....you just get on.


The universe is indeed expanding.............to get away from this planet!!!

#16 CalicoCat

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:27 PM


 

Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

Calico, thanks for the defense!

 

I don't even own drop bars yet -- the idea terrifies me, lol -- and cornering at full speed does make me nervous, so it's very nice to know that I'm not alone and that it will continue getting easier.  Another problem I'm learning I have came about as a result of cycling with Dear Hubby.  My depth perception is so bad, it looks to me like there's not enough room on our bike path for both of us -- though clearly there is, because he's sometimes beside me.  But it makes me really nervous, like one of us will go off the edge.  I have to get used to biking with others to take my tour next summer, so I'm working on it.  Feeling comfortable biking with others will feel like an accomplishment, too!  So I have a lot of growing to do in that, plus probably a lot of things that I don't even know about yet.

 

It's nice to know I have friends here who will try to encourage that growth rather than disparage me because of my limitations. 

 

Thank you.  I appreciate it. 


Riding in close proximity with other riders takes some getting used to. My coach made me get over the fear one day when I was riding a mere inches from the curb and she rode so close beside me that one would be hard-pressed to slip a sheet of paper between our handlebars! I was terrified at first, and just focused straight ahead and concentrated on holding my line. I knew that if I freaked out too much, that I could just slow down, but I didn't want to, and we rode nearly touching for a few minutes. That was pretty extreme, but it certainly taught me how close it is possible to ride next to another rider!

 

Just try riding next to your husband, only as close as you are comfortable, but try to get closer and closer (if you bump into eachother, just relax and nobody should go down). Learning to ride close to others It is a great skill for pack riding. Another great skill is riding on the wheel of the rider in front of your (drafting). It saves a ton of energy and is half the fun of riding in a pack!



#17 SierraSlim

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:38 PM

Yojimbo,

 

I'm sorry I can't make it any clearer for you.  I tried to 'just get on."  MANY times.  And stumbled and staggered and whacked my shins black and blue on the pedals.  Some of us are not as coordinated as others, some of us have a poorer sense of balance, and some of us have a poor sense of memory about what it was like the first time they ever rode a bike. 

 

I don't mind if you found it easy, I really don't.  I'm not the kind who's jealous of people who can do things I can't.  There are things at which I excel that I'm fairly certain you couldn't begin to do -- writing poetry, for example, that can move people to tears, writing mystery novels, for which I've had an offer of publication, and being nice to strangers, among others. 

 

What I do mind is that you seem determined to make fun of those for whom it's not so easy.  That's unkind, especially to new bikers like me and others struggling to get into a new sport and already feeling inadequate because we know we're not good at it yet.  Since I'm obviously beneath you in my cycling abilities, and unable to reach your heights intellectually to make you understand how others may not be able to do the same things you do, you may feel free to put me on Ignore, and I'll not trouble you any longer. 

 

But please, for the sake of this forum and cycling itself, try being nicer to those new to it.  We need them. 

 

Sierra



#18 ambal

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:42 PM

These videos are  pretty good;

 

 

 

 

 

 



#19 SierraSlim

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:18 PM

Thanks, Ambal!

 

I know I found them very helpful.  I hope others for whom things don't come easily here will, as well.

 

Happy pedaling!

 

Sierra



#20 Keh16

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 08:18 PM

I'm a newbie but I have been reading your posts for a while and I wanted to say congrats!!!






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