|Truth be told. Cycling is my least favorite. This pic explains it all. Notice the look of death, the yellow jacket, the 10% grade sign in the back, and that I'm in the wrong gear. Yeah, that was a tough ride.|
I think I'm pretty much over my fear of swimming; there is certainly more work to be done there. But, I'm not sure why getting out on the bike still feels like drudgery. The only thing I can figure is that cycling makes me feel out of control. It's no longer you against the elements of nature - it's you AND a bike, against the elements of nature. The bike, not to mention all of the gear (helmets, padded shorts, jackets, etc), can make or break a good ride.
The bike requires repairs: I have a starter Fuji that is pretty heavy, but was great to start training with. I acquired a real-deal Griffen racing bike from my boyfriend's co-worker. It has tri-bars and the whole kit n' caboodle, but it's probably 10 years old, and a little squeaky. I took it in to get fitted: aligning pedals, handle bars, saddle, etc for the most ergonomic ride. Now, after riding up Bonny Doon in the wrong gear, I know that my derailleur needs to be repaired. For those of you who don't know (because I didn't a week ago), the derailleur is the thingy that changes your chain between the big ring and the small ring. Time to take it back to the shop.
Cycling requires a lot of other stuff: I had to buy a bright yellow jacket to block the wind, and to be seen better by cars whipping by at 25-60 mph (scary). I now own a few pairs of padded running shorts/pants. I love my shoes that clip in, although I resisted for a long time. I also just bought a pair of gloves. Oh, I hate my helmet, but I'll deal with that later.
Cycling requires time: There is no "quick" bike ride really. Cycling requires at least 2 hours, if not an entire afternoon. I can whip out a run in 30 minutes a few times a week - no problem.
Cycling requires other people: I did a 21 mile ride on my own yesterday, out of desperation, but I really need to get out with other people who a) know good routes, b) know what they are doing, c) push me, and d) make the group more visible to traffic. Are you noticing that traffic is an issue? I'm glad that I found a great bike route near work that I feel pretty comfortable doing on my own! I also just joined a Meetup.com group for local rides on the Peninsula and South Bay.
All of these cycling requirements make me feel uneasy. There are still so many things to learn about riding a bike. Remember when you were a kid, no one ever talked about your "cadence" or "derailleurs" or shouted "Car back!" Cycling is some technical shit, and I still have a ways to go to be a more efficient rider. Oh, and how to change a tire.