Just like riding a bike?


I have been wanting a bike for awhile now and a friend of mine gave me this beauty for free because his wife didn’t use it.  (He did ask her before he gave it to me, to be clear.) 

I have had so many bike related plans for a long time.  Biking the park near my house.  Joining a bike group to meet new people and hopefully get better at biking. Taking it to the beach with me and riding around there.  Finding something new that keeps me active but is low impact on my joints.

I’ve been so excited.  

But truth be told…

I haven’t ridden a bike since middle school and relearning how to ride a bike while dealing with RA, is NOT just like riding a bike.

In fact, here’s where the bike lives right now:

Don’t judge the clutter.  It’s inside because stupid people have been stealing things off patios in my neighborhood and someone recently stole a LAUNDRY basket off mine.  Jokes on the thief: the laundry basket was from the dollar store. But still, the bike stays inside now. And sadly, I haven’t ridden much.

I’ve rode it in my parking lot and around the track at the school near me on weekends but I’m actually quite terrified of it now that it’s an option.

I’m afraid of falling off and hurting my wrists.  It has hand brakes and when I use them, it feels like I’m going to fly over the handlebars and break my teeth.  I’m afraid of biking over the speed of tortoise, especially going downhill, because I have visions of me somehow falling off and having to dig rock out of my leg.  I’m afraid of….

I’m totally overthinking this, aren’t I?

I’m frustrated with myself because I don’t like operating out of a place of fear. I know this sounds silly because in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal.  But I was excited about it and haven’t been able to do any of the things I wanted to do because it scares me.

I try to write about overcoming the limitations of RA but it’s fair to say that sometimes it’s not that easy.  

I’m going to keep trying.  I have a good friend who is going to help me.  I’ve found a group that teaches new riders about their bikes through a Saturday morning clinic once a month. I’m going to try that too although if it’s all children and my 37 year old self 😂😂😂

As long as we try, we grow, right?

7 responses »

  1. Take your time. Cycling is a wonderful hobby and you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. I was diagnosed in my 20s and have used cycling for the last 30 years as my main source of exercise. There is something wonderful about gliding along on a bike. As for heading over the handlebars….try not to use the front brakes and you will be fine. Enjoy!

  2. Being cautious is good, but don’t let it stop you from having some fun and doing good things for your health. That bike is a beauty and I can sympathize with you about having things taken from your patio. Same here.

  3. I started riding my bike again at age 56 and it si something I enjoy doing a great deal. I do not go on long rides, 7 to 12 miles around the neighborhood but one I try to do 4-6 times per day in the summer. i do suggest getting an odometer for your bike. It will give you great incentive to keep going.

  4. Riding is a great option for exercise! It is less impact for your joints and it provides relaxation at the same time. It is awesome for the body and mind! I wish you the best of luck and have faith that you will get it. Taking the time to write about it shows that you are determined! You go!!!

  5. I have similar concerns but don’t focus on them too much. In fact, I’m impatiently waiting for the R-doc clearance to get back on the bike. I’m currently limited to the pool with no more than ten minutes of swimming per session, which I draw out to twenty minutes using some well-placed logical justifications. Of course, I seem to pay for it afterwards with more Vicks and Tylenol than should be allowed, but I’m still overcoming my youthful programming of “no pain/no gain”. I’ve never been a stellar swimmer, but the risk of injury is low and the impact on the body is miraculous. I’m nearly weightless and more able than on dry land. I go for “smooth” because I sure can’t go for “fast”. Actually, with the currently active RA, I’m as slow as a turtle (but actually turtles are quick in water). With the languid pace, I try to be cool and just do my thing while exuding somewhat of a “what are you looking at” vibe. While I look forward to getting back on the bike and building up, the pool is quickly becoming a sanctuary of rare peace, joy and hope. Best of luck with the riding!

  6. I also recently started riding my beloved bike again. BUT I’m thrilled to say that mine has zero speeds and you pedal backwards to break (just like a little kid bike.) If I had to do anything with my hands other than hold myself up I wouldn’t be on it. As sweet as it was for your friend to gift you with such a beautiful bike, maybe find one that fits your needs a little better? There’s a lot of options.

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