I learned to ride a bike when I as five, but I just unlearned most of it on Friday, after my first triathlon bike race lesson from Coach Robin. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but maybe they’re not Iron Girl triathletes or bike racers?
I was a little scared to ride the spindly, LightSpeed aluminum bike my friend Connie loaned me, because I didn’t feel as stable on it as I do on my ancient, heavy mountain bike, or my husband’s solid as a rock cruiser, but I did manage to get on and pedal and use the breaks. And I didn’t fall over. So, technically, I still know how to ride a bike.
But Robin coached me through using the gears to keep my pedaling cadence fast and constant, which was a totally new experience for me. The idea is you don’t push hard until you feel it in your legs, then coast, like most of us do naturally when we’re riding around town. Instead, you want your legs to go round and round and round fast, even if the bike’s not going fast.
Huh. What a concept for me, on the bike. I mean, I guess I sort of live my life that way? It always seems like I’m going fast, even if most of the time I’m really just sitting here on the computer typing about going fast. My fingers are pretty fast!
So now I’m intrigued enough to keep on biking and figuring this stuff out. Because now it’s all new again, like the swimming was, when Robin coached me through stretching out and pushing the water down with my hands. It’s all form and function. And I learned the same ideas with the running, when Keith coached us through the mechanics of Chi Running, by changing little things in our form and our foot stride.
Who knew sports were so technical? No wonder so many geeks get into this. It’s like your body is the final frontier – the quest to figure out your own mechanics, is a never-ending hobby.