I have a confession to make - I’ve been scared.
Scared of the unknown. Unsure of my abilities.
Even though I’ve been riding to and from work for a couple years now, I’ve been hesitant to take the plunge and start biking further distances. Especially when those distances involve hills. But with Sheelagh and the kids gone for the week, I finally decided to take the plunge. I rode over St. John’s Bridge and back for the first time. I rode across the river to First Thursday at Gigantic and back.
And guess what? It wasn’t so bad! I didn’t die! Sure, the hills were harder than my usual routes, but I made it.
When I rode across St. John’s I hit it too hard and had to stop halfway through to catch my breath. It was a good excuse to get off the bike and take some photos. After a short break, I continued on, and was totally fine. What a beautiful ride! If you haven’t yet, you should try it.
Riding down to NW Lovejoy is easy. It’s almost all downhill. It was getting home I was worried about. I almost chickened out at the last minute and hopped in a smart car, but I stayed the course. It was rather nice! The fact that I didn’t have to circle endlessly to find parking on a busy First Thursday in and of itself made riding worth it. On the trip home, I made sure to pace myself, and I didn’t have to stop! Sure it was harder than riding my usual routes, but I did it. And honestly it wasn’t even close to as hard as I’d imagined it would be.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience with you. The fear of the unknown is powerful. Inertia can seem impossible to overcome. I challenge you to take the plunge. Take a leap of faith and ride your bike. If you already ride, ride just a little farther, or ride somewhere you’ve never ridden. It might be hard. You might have to stop and take a break. That’s okay! Enjoy it. I’ll bet it won’t be nearly as difficult as you think. And now that summer has arrived in Portland, it’s the perfect time to go exploring.
(Thanks to Shannon for the photo!)