Does this sound like you?
Like most people, I bet you remember riding your bicycle all over the neighborhood as a kid. On a summer morning, as soon as you devoured breakfast, you jumped on your trusty bike. Maybe you'd head to your friend's house or ride down to the park for a meet-up. If you were like me, you had beads on the spoke or a card to annoy the neighborhood.
That bike was the first time that you were free. For the first time, you could ride miles from home with no parental supervision. You could ride with your hair blowing in the breeze and getting from point a to point b was fun.
What's an adult to do?
Now it seems that you go everywhere by car. Your stressed from all your adult obligations and your doctor tells you "working out will reduce your stress." When are you supposed to work out when you are so busy? It can feel like there are not enough hours in the day.
You may have considered getting back on your bike; it was something you loved as a kid.
No, But really- what am I supposed to do?
Now people your age who like to bike are REALLY into biking. You don't intend on going out and buying a spandex jumpsuit and joining a cult anytime soon.
You also don't want to look like a newbie, pardon my language, asshole. You feel afraid to jump back into it because you don't want to get hit by a car. It feels like you should have learned how to ride with cars as a kid, but you didn't.
Asking questions makes you feel like a dumb-dumb as if other people are thinking "how in the world don't you know that?!"
So now what are you supposed to do? Never ride again?
"OH HELL NO! IT'S TIME TO DUST OF YOUR BIKE AND GET RIDING."
I get it; I was there. I loved riding my bike as a kid- and when I bought a car, that all changed. It was easier to hop in and out to run errands- even if it was a short distance.
As an adult, I went to my doctor to discuss my anxiety, and I that trusty phrase "exercise reduces stress."
I thought, "Hey if I used my bicycle for some of the errands, it would be an excellent way to get fresh air and a little exercise.
However, my first outing was- let's say- a disaster.
I rode on the sidewalk, and when I was just about to cross the intersection, a car right turned on red right in front of me. I ended up avoiding t-boning the vehicle but scraped my handlebar down their red sedan.
Damn, it was super scary, but I still wanted to ride again.
My Bike Education
That was when I reached out to New York Bicycling Coalition and requested information about the rules of the road and how to ride in New York. They sent me a care package with lots of information and a pocket guide.
I began riding to more places in the neighborhood and even started to go for joy rides. I was able to report to my doctor that I had found a way to exercise and get outside.
My anxiety was down, and I was happier- all thanks to my old bicycle.
After a year of riding, I studied and became a League Cycling Instructor to help adults just like I get back on their bike.
Biking can give you the opportunity
to get healthier,
and reduce greenhouse gasses in the process.
I now offer free cycling instruction to individuals and small groups to help them feel more comfortable while riding.
Many people after a session are confident enough to go out on long rides alone.
I will show you where to position yourself on the road, how to approach stops, how to start from a stop quickly, and how to signal.
If you want to get back on your bike with confidence and live within Clinton County, NY- send me a message and let's get riding.
If you're not ready to go for a ride quite yet, you can still request a copy of the NYBC pocket guide. I started my journey with the guide, and highly recommend it to riders of all ages and ability.
I want to make sure that you feel confident when you start riding again.
Many people don't realize it's dangerous to ride on the sidewalk (as I found out) and you need to feel confident in your road positioning.
After one ride along, you will know where you're supposed to be, your rights, and responsibilities to the road, so you can get from point a to point b safely and confidently.