Fear Face

Today I was invited by my best mate, Speedie, to join him on his Sunday morning Mt Nebo ride. It’s about a 1,000metre climb up one of Brisbanes most beautiful mountains, right at my doorstep. We took off at 5:30am (dark and chilly) picking up a few friends on our way. The slow climb out of The Gap is the steepest part, at which point you wonder why you chose to do this and not be tucked in bed! Not too far up the road I mentioned to Speedie that at sunrise we may expect to see kangaroos. Did I jinx him…because not even 10 minutes later BAM he runs one down! I still cannot believe he stayed on his bike! A miracle he wasn’t hurt badly. We rode very cautiously from this point.

As many know, I’m not a fan of gutters or steep descents. Not for the lack of wanting to descend, as I carry plenty of weight advantage…but as a result of purchasing a bike frame that is too large, combined with a bung shoulder, I have a great deal of difficulty in positioning my body and reach to the brakes. It’s quite normal for me to get cramps in my tricep if I tense, which adds to my delimma. So, today, I decided to focus on my descent rather than my ascent. I simply told my friends to go on ahead as I prefer to be left alone in this situation. I concentrated on my positioning (bum back into the saddle, body tucked into the top tube), taking the lane, and used the brakes by tapping them before the corners and when I felt a little spooked. I have found that using 25mm tyres have assisted me by softening the blow of the road surface, but finding the corners a little more tricky. In time I should be able to adjust to this.

For me, today was tough. I counted down the kilometres until I arrived safely back into The Gap. I’m pretty sure that we all have our own fears when it comes to cycling. A properly fitted new bike will help. Hill coaching will also get me over this hump and into the right head space. One last note: we all need to remember we are someone’s mother or father, wife or husband, and we have a big responsibility to our loved ones. Ride safe.

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