Tag Archives: cycling

Faced the fear; cycling!

As you may have read in my earlier post “Feel the fear and do it anyway; cycling!” I was a quite nervous about riding my bike on the roads. Since then I have a little update.

I was so scared of cycling on the road that I decided to do a little research and get some help. Many of you will have done your cycling proficiency test at school. However, due to the changes in road conditions over the last 20-30 years, the government have set new standards for cycling proficiency. In 1999, it was reported that there were twice as many cars on the road as there had been 25 years previously. As it’s now 2011, that number will be considerably higher with most households have more than one car. These new standards are called “Bikeability” levels 1-3.

These standards are to assist cyclists in becoming more aware and safe whilst riding in  busy road conditions. Last weekend, with the assistance of a National Standards instructor ( a lovely lady called Anita) I passed the equivalent of the  level 2 Bikeability standard. This improved my confidence hugely and today I went our for a cycle ride with Holly and Mark.

We chose a route from the Wakefield District Cycle Forum.

“Wakefield District Cycle Forum is a cycle campaign group, providing cycle information on cycle routes, off-road cycle routes, cycle maps, cycle rides, health rides, and the Trans-Pennine trail.” (Wakefield District Cycle Forum)

On the whole, it’s a fantastic website full of local cycling information and links. It accommodates all interests and abilities with clubs specifically for a novice like me who likes to take in the scenery on and off-road, to racing cyclists who wish to time trial, to triathletes (plus much more).

They provide photographic cycle maps for around the Wakefield district which you can print and take with you. We chose a route which was on and off-road. I was very brave as I ventured onto a “national speed limit” road, but was also reassured that I’d spent some time with Anita learning how to do this safely.

Holly absolutely loved being on the back of Mark’s bike and was so well behaved. It’s important to us as parents that we set the example to her of being active and healthy. It’s lovely to know that one day Holly will be riding with us independently. We plan to keep an eye on the weather and go out as often as we can. I hope to spend a couple more hours with Anita next year to do my level 3 Bikeability standard (a little challenge just for me, I’m the kind of person that needs to be told that I’ve achieved something). I’m sure we’ll be setting some time aside over the Winter to plan some routes for Spring 2012, roll on Spring!

If you think you’d like to brush up on your cycling skills just put your location in this map and find someone in your area. Happy cycling

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Feel the fear and do it anyway; cycling!

I have a little confession – for years now I’ve had a secret fear of cycling. It started in childhood – I always wanted to learn to ride a bike but was frightened that I was going to fall off. I think the reason that it was a secret fear was that everyone can ride a bike can’t they? It’s almost like a right of passage in childhood. I felt silly that I didn’t learn this as a young child. Eventually, at the age of 11 I learnt to ride; the problem was, I learnt and then didn’t ride again. That is until now.

I suppose that It dawned on me that now I have my own daughter, she too would learn to ride a bike. I didn’t want to be left out of all of the fun during our family holidays and days out because I was unconfident. So, for my 30th birthday I have been given a bike as a gift from my husband (an early present!).

Mark presented it to me and asked me to give it a try. At that exact same time, my mum’s neighbour came over and said “let’s see you have a go”. I felt so sick, nervous and stupid. My wonderful husband rescued me and said “Maybe later, she’s not been on a bike for ages”.

After a couple of wobbles, I was on my way! I’m by no means confident, but I haven’t fallen off yet. I have so much to learn but I really wasn’t as bad as I thought I was.

I think it’s taught me that I’ve been missing out because I was afraid. I need to care less about what people think and just have fun.

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By the way, I do have a helmet and would always advocate wearing one. I just thought the risk of a serious head injury was minimal on my mum’s drive!