Sunday, 25 May 2014

My shameful secret

The natural assumption is I can bike, swim and that a triathlon is the natural progression. My dirty secret is that I can't swim or bike. I never learned either as a child. In 2008, I took a 3 hour adult learn to bike course and can ride about 200 m down the street, but can't even turn a corner without falling. I went home after the class to practice and I SAW people leaning out of their cars and on their porches, pointing and laughing at me. It was not my imagination. So fast forward to today and I got my bike out for the first time since 2008. Rode a straight farther than I ever have before, maybe 500 m? and turned my first corner but along the way crashed several times into trees, cars, curbs and fell off. And because it was a nice day, people were outside, staring and laughing.

I know I "should" not care what other people think, but the shame is so strong. What to do about it?


  1. Who cares .. exactly what people think! You are doing ...

    1. because it's easy to ignore a couple people..but a lot harder when literally everyone in your neighbourhood is staring, pointing and laughing.

  2. Ouch... double ouch!
    Perhaps try learning to ride in a more secluded place?

  3. Feelings like that don't go away, the only thing we can do is accept them. Unless you decide to park the bike for good and avoid any embarrassment. The only problem with that course of action is potential regret, which is just as horrible. Can you tell that I am writing from personal experience? Had a bike accident in 2001, broke my arm and ended up with stitches in my head. It will be way harder to get back to it after all these years, but my children can out-bike me now and they want to go on trips, etc...

  4. Definitely not shamefull. We can't all do everything. I can swim but not that far or great, I sort of sink. I can ride a bike and typically ride it once a year. Be careful not to hurt yourself though. I'm sure you can learn if you want, just pick a safe spot :)

  5. I had to learn how to swim properly when I did my sprint triathlons years ago. I never learned because I was too afraid to let go of the side as a kid. Anyhow, good for you for getting out there are learning. Hold your head up and smile back. :)