Biking: why emotional preparation is as important as physical preparation.

I’m only working from 3-7 today, so I thought I’d take the time to tell you about our infamous bike ride. We went on our one and only bike ride a few weeks ago.

Dave decided awhile back that we should take up biking as a hobby. I wasn’t opposed to this; my best friend and her husband bike and she’s told me how much fun they have. Dave found a bike for me to borrow from a co-worker and he rented one for himself as well as a bike rack.

There are tons of trails around here – a lot of them are “rail to trail,” where a former railroad right of way has been turned into a public trail. Dave chose the Nashua River Trail for us since it was paved and we didn’t want anything too hardcore the first time out. He kept referring to our trip as “twelve miles.” Call me naive, but I assumed when he said twelve miles, it was twelve miles round trip.

We set out for the trail in high spirits. I’d packed us trail mix and water bottles. There were a lot of people out that morning – older couples, either alone or with groups, as well as families and single riders.

Now, when we went on this bike ride, I was not in the shape I’m in now. I had just started getting serious about leading a more healthy life style and dropping the weight I’d gained after we got married. Biking was hard for me, but I kept telling myself it was only 6 miles and then we’d turn around and come back. I function much better when I have a goal in my head. I was prepared to do 12 miles. We stopped a few times for water and when we got hungry we sat on the bank of the river and ate our trail mix. It was a beautiful day and the trail was gorgeous.

My legs started to ache, my butt hurt, and I kept having visions of crashing into other bikers as we passed each other. Finally I said, “We must have gone six miles by now!” Dave responded, “Well, yea, we have, but the trail is twelve miles long.” This was the point where I pulled over, put my bike on the ground, and burst into tears.

So there we were, standing on the edge of a bike trail as person after person passed us while I cried and yelled at my poor husband. I was so mad. I knew he hadn’t meant to mislead me, but that didn’t matter at the time. My emotional preparation was shot. Gone. There was no way on earth I was biking twenty four miles that day.

Dave really wanted to do the entire twelve miles, but he obligingly turned around with me and headed back. I cried for about three miles, frequently stopping to curse that stupid trail and tell David that there was no way I could continue. At one point I actually walked along the trail with my bike. I’m sure more than one person laughed at me that morning.

I’ve recovered from our disastrous first biking experience and now we laugh about it. I’m confident my next foray onto a bike trail will be much less traumatic. Hopefully.



2 thoughts on “Biking: why emotional preparation is as important as physical preparation.

  1. Darling Rebekah, the voice of experience here. THIS is how you survive bike riding with your husband. The next time he rents a bike he gets the kind that are built for two riders. You will happily sit in the back, pedaling (every now and then depending on your mood) and the rest of the time you let HIM do all of the work. It’s terrific! Just ask Pat! He’ll tell you with not as much glee as I just did 🙂

  2. oh man!!! “the visions of crashing into other bikers”!! that made me burst into laughter! so funny!! i’m sure you are much more in shape now after doing Jillian. My running has improved, so i’m sure your biking will as well. Try it again! before it snows. 🙂

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