Road Bike Fear

I am a pretty strong cyclist. I am able to keep up pretty well, and managed to get a pretty good time at my tri (56 miles in 3:37) on my hybrid. However, I have been told by several people I would be so much stronger, faster, better on a “real” road bike. My cousin-in-law, Chase was kind enough to loan me his old Cannondale.  The problem? I am terrified of riding it.

The fear inducing road bike

I got on it for a short ride the day he gave it to me, just to see if it fit. It fit, but I was so scared I barely rode it. I kept telling myself it was because I didn’t have a helmet on, or because I was afraid my pants would get caught in the chain, but I don’t think that is the case. It just feels so different than what I am used to.

My beloved hybrid

I am used to sitting kind of upright while riding. On the Cannondale I have to lean really far over – kind of makes me feel like I am going to go over the top; the brakes feel strange and don’t even get me started on figuring out the gears!

I want to try it. I want to ride it. I am just a little timid. I have only been riding for a little over a year now, and in that time I have really become accustomed to the bike I have. Some people, based on how comfortable I am, have told me not to change bikes – to just keep using what works for me. But, what if I really would be stronger, faster, better on a road bike? If I am going to continue competing in triathlons (let’s be honest, we all know that is going to happen) then I want to get faster, right? And even if I don’t do another triathlon, I am definitely going to doing more rides – Wine Country Century I’m looking at you.

It isn’t just the feel that is intimidating. It is the going downhill. For those of you who have never been to Sonoma County, there aren’t many roads around here that aren’t hilly. And I don’t mean little hills – I am talking HILLS – maybe even mountains! When I think about the ride last year, and how scared I was on the drop on Highway 1 into Stinson Beach, I can just imagine the level of terror I will have on the road bike. I will probably be the only person to ever walk downhill on the MS Waves to Wine ride!

Then I think about it, and I think back to how scared I was on my hybrid when I first started riding it and having to go downhill. Now I can bomb down those babies! (Well, most of them.) Once upon I was scared of my bike, now I don’t want to give it up cause it comfortable. Once upon a time I was scared of swimming in the open water. Once upon a time I was afraid to put myself out there to try anything that I might not be really good at.

I’m not saying I am going to ride it forever, but I am saying I am going to give it a go…tomorrow.

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2 Responses to Road Bike Fear

  1. Josh says:

    I’m a big fan of road bikes, if for no other reason than they are fast. My mountain bike and cruiser max out around 16-18mph or so, and it’s a lot of work to sustain that. On my road bike I can hit 20-22 and I’m barely tapping the potential. Might not be what motivates you, but I love it 🙂

  2. stacie says:

    Well, considering that…I can hit about 20 on my hybrid…just imagine the potential on a road bike. I am going to try it. Really.

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