Hello! Just wanted to update you all on my biking situation after I asked for advice a few weeks ago.
I bought an adorable city/commuter bike and accessories after shopping around a bit. I did my first full commute last Monday and it went really well! The only hiccup is that since quite a bit of the route is on areas that are common for joggers and tourists, I have to be careful of that since they often either can’t hear my bell (headphones) or are just too clueless or rude to move out of the way (tourists walking 5 across). The way home takes at least 15 mins extra because there are lots of people out in the evening and I have to go pretty slow or dismount entirely sometimes on parts.
Since then I’ve ridden to and from work several times. A lot of the anxieties I had were entirely in my head, and once I actually just went for it, I was fine. There’s a road near me that I need to go on to get to a cycling/running trail, and it has a bike lane, but I was so anxious to go near cars. I’m lucky to have a route that’s mostly off the road.
Well it turns out, the cars actually aren’t scary at all as long as I stay on roads that aren’t super fast or super crowded, or that have designated bike lanes. My biggest threat it seems is other cyclists who are either super experienced and zip around without telling me they’re coming up, or who are too cool to follow traffic rules and blow thru stop signs and lights. I’ve just decided I’m not going to get intimidated. I’m just going to go about my business and do my best and follow the rules.
Yesterday I had a little mishap and ended up falling forward off my bike and hitting the ground. I’m mostly fine, just a scrape on my wrist and a nasty bruise on my hip, plus I woke up this morning feeling very sore. But I’m feeling better now and while it was a little scary at the time, I figure my first crash has to happen sometime and I’m glad it’s over with! You live and learn. I took my bike in to get fixed up today because things were a little wonky after it hit the ground. The shop guy made me feel a little dumb because he basically told me I was riding my bike wrong (he said I should come off the seat at every stop then push off the pedal to start and get back on the seat) but, I told him I’m just not comfortable with that, so no.
So all in all, I’m really liking having another transportation option and getting some good exercise while I’m at it (to/from work is 7 miles each way with pretty steep hills on the way home). This is a pretty big deal for me because I was very very nervous and anxious, but I feel like I’ve really gotten comfortable pretty quickly; or at least, a lot more comfortable than I thought I would ever be. I never would’ve pictured myself doing this before but here I am!