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View Full Version : I want to start cycling but I AM SHY!!!



Lunita
04-25-2007, 08:33 AM
I want to start cycling. I been a couple of months in spinning classes, and now I want to buy the spd shoes, and also a new bike, but I have so many questions, and I am to shy to ride outside, what if I fall over? that would be embarrassing! anyone have had in the past the same concern?
also, what are the best shoes for spinning classes?
thanks!

HillSlugger
04-25-2007, 08:41 AM
I had a bike on a trainer stand in my basement for three years without ever getting out on the road. I hadn't ridden outside in almost 20 years and I wasn't sure where it was safe to ride. Then, I decided that I wanted to do a local charity ride, a 10k family ride around the neighborhood. I did one trail ride with a friend and then the charity ride. Now, I'm outside every week, usually road riding on my own. All you need is that good first experience to get you going. Do you have any friends that can take you out or a beginners ride from the LBS?

missymaya
04-25-2007, 09:00 AM
Hey Lunita welcome!
Riding indoors can be fun but just stepping out the door and riding in the sun and wind just feels so good. In my opinion, you should give it a shot, especially with a local group to start. If you have a local group ride, try to join it, especially if they have beginners rides. They are really helpful, encouraging, and make riding outdoors even more fun.
As for shoes, I think anybody who started riding with clipless had the worry of falling over and honestly, it is bound to happen. My advice: if you do go clipless on your outdoor bike, practice clipping in and out either in a trainer or in an empty parking lot or vacant part of a local trail. Key: stay calm, don't freak out and if you find your not clipping out, just pedal foward. As for spinning shoes, I don't spin, so I can't help ya there.
Hope all goes well and have a great ride!

Xrayted
04-25-2007, 09:26 AM
Lunita, I think you've voiced the same concerns we all had when we started riding outside, clipless or not. (I started riding again last Aug.) What I learned from these ladies is... find a bike that is sized correctly for you. It doesn't have to be an expensive bike, just one that fits you and what you want to use it for. I do encourage you however to get the best one you can afford to start with because the nicer bike is going to encourage you to keep riding.
If you want to ride trails and roads, then maybe a hybrid is the right type for you. If you are only interested in riding on the road, then maybe that is the type for you. Body mechanics have alot to do with how people pick the type of bike they buy. If you can't physically handle the more prone position of being on a road bike, then obviously that is not the style for you.
Also, I love my SPD's. But like most people, I started with flat pedals and stayed with them until I was comfy riding my bike and being out on the road. Then when I went clipless, I practiced in the house and in the yard clipping in and out before I got out on the road. Also, SPD's can be adjusted for tension so have the tension of the clips set softer so you dont have to struggle with clipping out. It's just a small screw on the pedal. It will still hold your feet in securely while pedalling but you will be able to snap right out when you need to. For flat pedals, I do encourage you to ride with very stiff soled shoes so that you have more support for your feet and get more power when you are pedalling.
As for spinning classes, I have never done them. I either ride on my trainer at home or I'm out on the road/trails with my bikes. I would assume one could use the same shoes as you do for your bike as long as the cleats fit, but I will let the more experienced ladies here tackle that one.

I've learned a lot from these ladies. Feel free to go back and read older threads, use your search button and look up what has already been covered. There is a great deal of knowledge to be gotten from this site. Good luck and welcome! I hope to see you around the forum regularly. :D

equus123
04-25-2007, 10:10 AM
I want to start cycling. I been a couple of months in spinning classes, and now I want to buy the spd shoes, and also a new bike, but I have so many questions, and I am to shy to ride outside, what if I fall over? that would be embarrassing! anyone have had in the past the same concern?
also, what are the best shoes for spinning classes?
thanks!

what's the point of being shy about it? (i'm not trying to be mean.) i'm asking a real question.

fear doesn't always mean you shouldn't do something. :o ;)

who cares if you fall, who cares if you're slow, who cares if your jersey and shorts and socks and helmet and gloves don't match. it's completely irrelevant to why you enjoy being on the bike, or spinning, or being active. :( being shy about something [you want to do, you enjoy doing] won't get you anywhere!

li10up
04-25-2007, 10:34 AM
...and I am to shy to ride outside, what if I fall over? that would be embarrassing! anyone have had in the past the same concern?

I don't understand the shy part either...too shy to ride outside? I guess I'm missing something. What if you fall over? Get up, dust yourself off, smile while your friends laugh at you as your face turns red, get back on the bike and enjoy the rest of the ride. You'll forever have a story to tell about the first time you fell off your bike. It's all good!! Just get out there and do it girl! You'll be glad you did. Best of luck. And I'll be waiting for your post about your first fall. :D

lauraelmore1033
04-25-2007, 10:37 AM
Lunita, do you know if you have any bicycling trails in your area? I personally found riding trails to be a comfortable and safe way to gain the confidence necessary to just get out there and do it! Often you can find maps for them where you find info on public transportation options and routes. Google often works for finding trails too...

I can totally relate to what you're going through. I went through a more than 10 year hiatus from cycling because I didn't feel safe (physically and psychologically) riding on the roads. I started riding trails again with hubby and have graduated to riding on the roads with my local bike club and can now comfortably ride alone as well.

teigyr
04-25-2007, 10:42 AM
I'd say the best shoes for spinning class are whatever fit you well. Also, you might want to be able to walk in them -- my SPDs have NO tread on them so it's a bit slippery!!!

What kind of bike do you have now? I think it takes a bit of trial and error to find out where your niche is in riding; people gravitate toward different things. I like distance and not speed though I like the option of being able to go a bit faster. When I first started riding on an old mountain bike, I went everywhere! I just played through orange groves (back in Calif) and undiscovered dirt roads. I was never good at technical riding but I learned after a few years that I rode more on the road than not so a road bike was in order.

Truth be told, I'm shy too. I used to run track in school so I'm used to my training efforts being monitored so I'm half-convinced people are watching me though I know otherwise! (I guess it's cause for concern when I hear voices?!) I know it's awkward to do something new but you did it in spinning class, right? THAT can be intimidating because spin class is difficult and gyms can be a bit clique-like.

I think you will find everyone will be so supportive. There are always jerks in every sport but for the most part, people are great. And we've ALL (haven't we?) fallen over, some of us for VERY silly reasons :D

Geonz
04-25-2007, 11:12 AM
Yes, the question is "why shy?" Not to invalidate it...So... psych yourself up and ease into it. Hill slug's idea is excellent.
I figure that when I go out and do something stupid that I'm making it easier for somebody else who's *afraid* to do something stupid, 'cause they see me and realize that gosh, it caused no major injury or trauma. I"m afraid I have **many** such stories, though fewer now that I know not to do anything, anything at all without having that morning tea.
(Which this morning was tough because I was running late and figured I'd just make a cup in the microwave instead of putting the teapot on, except that if you forget to put water in the cup all that happens is the teabag catches fire.)

Until you go out on a group ride you've made a *huge* deal about going out on, and put your wheel on with the derailleur on the wrong side and tried to ride, don't tell me about feeling stupid :) ... or ridden ten miles with a kickstand stuck in the wheel... or a ball point pen in your helmet (I wondered why it hurt)... )

equus123
04-25-2007, 11:14 AM
geez. the first time i ever fell over with my bike was teaching someone new how to NOT fall over. lol oh well!

singletrackmind
04-25-2007, 11:30 AM
Totally understand what you mean. I was scared to ask 'stupid' questions, scared to look like a total newb.

Well, I swallowed hard and asked! I rode! I fell down! And then I didn't. I was embarrassed but I got over it and so will you. No one pointed. No one laughed. Now, after all this time I've ridden in many diverse groups and they all (except the elitist idiots who aren't worth anyone's time anyways) never laughed at someone new. Many are happy to offer advice and help out. It's good to see another person on a bike and we all had to learn.

Do it. Don't let a little worry over getting started stop you before you even step foot on the bike. If you go clipless adjust them so they are very easy to get out of and practice somewhere soft first. Try not to be afraid to ask questions and learning some basic maintenance on your bike will make you feel empowered. Being able to change a flat is a good feeling. (and then get some tire liners so you aren't as likely to have to).

You can do it you can do it you can do it you can do it........it's not about what you wear (except the helmet) or what you ride, it's about enjoying yourself. Last I checked recreational riding's not a talent or a fashion show. :)

amymisk
04-25-2007, 11:35 AM
I have fallen more than once and just recently on my brand new carbon race bike! Just laugh it off, get back on, and ride.

BleeckerSt_Girl
04-25-2007, 11:36 AM
I always liked the scene in the movie "PeeWee's Big Adventure"- where he's riding his bike and then does a spectacularly embarrassing fall right in front of some little kids. He gets up and says "I MEANT to do that!"- I loved it! :D :D

northstar
04-25-2007, 11:52 AM
Lunita,

It's ok to be shy about it at first. I can understand. I was afraid of looking stupid, of falling in front of other people, of people judging the way I looked in my clothes, of being laughed at for making mistakes, whatever...it's ok to be nervous. Once you get started, you will relax and start to enjoy yourself, and soon you will be over the nerves.

That being said, I don't do club rides. I either ride alone or with a friend. I pick routes where there isn't much traffic to deal with, or I ride trails in parks. It's kind of "me" time. Pretty soon you will be proud of yourself for taking the risk!

Get out there!

LadyinWhite
04-25-2007, 12:45 PM
who cares if you fall, who cares if you're slow, who cares if your jersey and shorts and socks and helmet and gloves don't match.

Wow am I glad to hear you say this! ;)

Looking forward to riding with you soon!!

T

Lunita - I wasn't shy so much as NERVOUS about taking up road cycling. I just plunged ahead on my own and have been met with SO much support from friends, family and TE'ers. I AM shy about riding with someone else. Shy? perhaps just really insecure (what's the difference really?) but I'm determined to go ahead and get together w/ a couple of TE'rs ride just for the sheer FUN of it. If it's not FUN - why bother? Get outside! You can do it.

mimitabby
04-25-2007, 12:49 PM
At work here we have shop bikes, they are one speed 40 pound clunkers, but they get you where you need to go on the plant here. A coworker (female)
won't ride them. She says it would be embarrassing.

All i can say is, be a kid again and just do it. 4 year olds don' think about who is watching, they just get on and ride. And If you're really really shy,
get up at the crack of dawn while "they" are all still in bed.
Nothing better than a school playground early on a saturday (deserted)
for practicing on your bike
good luck.

northstar
04-25-2007, 04:11 PM
A couple tumbles (like I had in the middle of an intersection today) will put things in perspective...you will fall, and you will do dorky things, and once you've done a few of them and the world hasn't ended, you'll be fine. ;)

Keep reading around here...it's what really motivates me to keep at it!

Celeste
04-25-2007, 05:05 PM
Lunita,
I think you will suprise yourself once you do get outside and ride. Start small with short trips around your neighborhood; move up to local park trails or loop and soon enough you will be road ready.

Trust me when I say that life is too short to worry about what others think. Like my Dad always said..."If you ride on two wheels, you are bound to fall sometime." This comes from a man who has ridden motorcycles all his life. And yes, he has laid it down a time or two.

I myself have fallen twice on my road bike. Once in front of my hubby and another in front of my Team in Training group. I just laughed it off, got up, brushed my self off and kept on going.

No, nothing has to match. Just be sure that you have all the proper safety gear, so if you do happen to fall, you won't be hurt. Get out there and ride, girl! You won't regret it, promise! Hugs.

pooks
04-25-2007, 05:43 PM
Lunita -- you've already done the smartest thing. You're here asking for help. And that's the smartest thing you could EVER do.

Read, and you'll find people who are heavier/older/shyer than you -- or were, and now aren't (which is REALLY inspirational, although if you find someone older who is now younger, you might want to check their ID, ahem).

I had a friend who wrote about her new riding habits on her blog, and it inspired me. I came here and started reading, and was inspired. If I thought it was too hot to ride, somebody in AZ posted that they waited for it to cool down to 105 before they rode. :eek:

If I thought it too cold, I read a blog about a guy in Alaska who rode in the winter, too. :eek:

I found out of shape people to read about. All kinds of people.

And I just finally decided, I can do this.

When I got on the bike it was SO FUN I suddenly lost a lot of my concerns. But even more than that, I began feeling like a (middle-aged, overweight) jock. Fell off my bike, got back on and kept riding. Wore my cycling clothes into the grocery store even though they are NOT flattering. Slathered on sunscreen and skipped makeup.

Because, you see, I'm a jock. (wink)

You've come to the right place. Now, just do it!

RolliePollie
04-25-2007, 06:55 PM
Lunita - I am still scared of falling! But I just fell about 2 hours ago (second fall with new clipless pedals) and it's not as scary or painful or embarassing as I expected. My riding partner today, who has been riding for over 10 years, nearly fell over about 2 minutes after I fell over!

I would say I'm a very self conscious person. I'm always concerned about what other people will think. But I've also learned to just laugh at myself when I do stupid things, which seems to be quite often. I know I have a lot to learn and a lot of cycling skills to develop, but it's SO FUN to get out there, enjoy the beautiful weather, and realize that you really can do it!

Just go for it! You'll do great! You should've seen me on my first couple of rides. I'm still pretty much a disaster area, but the enjoyment far outweighs everything else. :)

Celeste
04-25-2007, 08:09 PM
Just go for it! You'll do great! You should've seen me on my first couple of rides. I'm still pretty much a disaster area, but the enjoyment far outweighs everything else. :)

Yeah! What she said!! Well put. I feel the same way. :D

Starfish
04-25-2007, 08:16 PM
Yep, just go for it, and then no matter what happens, come back to these forums and tell everyone what happens! If you have a great time, people here will rejoice with you. If you have a less-than-wonderful experience, people here will commiserate and also give tips on what might help the next time.

You can do it! :p

Kano
04-25-2007, 08:28 PM
When I got on the bike it was SO FUN I suddenly lost a lot of my concerns. But even more than that, I began feeling like a (middle-aged, overweight) jock. Fell off my bike, got back on and kept riding. Wore my cycling clothes into the grocery store even though they are NOT flattering. Slathered on sunscreen and skipped makeup.

Because, you see, I'm a jock. (wink)

And remember, Pooks -- not only are we jocks now, we got HARDBODIES with six-packs, never mind that no one else can see them and we gotta look pretty hard too!

Karen in Boise

Starfish
04-25-2007, 08:40 PM
And remember, Pooks -- not only are we jocks now, we got HARDBODIES with six-packs, never mind that no one else can see them and we gotta look pretty hard too!

Karen in Boise

This is one of the great things about cycling! I find that although I started out nervous and self-conscious, it has given me so much freedom. I love the sport and the goals I have in it, so now when I go to the gym, for instance, I really don't care what I look like (and I ain't pretty in spandex)...it is all about being able to do my goal ride in August. Same with being out on the bike in my unflattering bike clothes. Same with trying to shed weight...it is all about improving the climbing!

Of course, I think turning 40 last year helped, too. I just don't care anymore...I'm just trying to please myself! I can't help but think if I had had this attitude when I was younger, I wouldn't have hesitated to do so many things, and maybe I would have enjoyed the gym and biking enough to not get this chubby middle-aged body in the first place! ;)

hgrill02
04-25-2007, 08:58 PM
Those who never risk themselves, never fully become themselves! I went to a safety training course for my MS 150 ride, I had my clips for about a week and had NEVER done a group ride, I fell twice at the safety course, I was at a stand still and just went over like a domino, That was my first fall, and I am happy for it because I got it out of the way! I love my clips now and would never go back especially when there is a big hill ahead. so far over 500 miles and no more falls. You can do it.

Heather

Kano
04-25-2007, 10:14 PM
This is one of the great things about cycling! I find that although I started out nervous and self-conscious, it has given me so much freedom. I love the sport and the goals I have in it, so now when I go to the gym, for instance, I really don't care what I look like (and I ain't pretty in spandex)...it is all about being able to do my goal ride in August. Same with being out on the bike in my unflattering bike clothes. Same with trying to shed weight...it is all about improving the climbing!


It was seeing GUYS in bike shorts with flapping bellies atop them that made me decide I could wear my bike shorts in public! The thing about "ain't pretty in spandex" is that, well, okay, maybe not, but all the parts are secured AND we can move in it -- both NECESSARY to getting to the point where the rest of the world sees that gorgeous butt that I know is in there somewhere!

Karen in Boise

DarcyInOregon
04-25-2007, 11:23 PM
I think falling in front of people is fun because you can laugh at yourself. If you can laugh at yourself, then you can't be shy about anything.

I have a number of falls that happened in front of people. Maybe my favorite is last summer when I was trying to bike long distances on my heavy hybrid, before I finally decided I needed a road bike. I stopped at mile 14 in this tiny rural farm town to drink and munch. I was perched on my saddle with one foot resting on a curb. I was in front of this little house that had three rose bushes planted in the ground between the curb and the sidewalk. For some reason I toppled off the bike, even though I was at a complete standstill, and I went splat right on top of one of the rose shrubs and my helmet bounced on the sidewalk. I got up and to my dismay I saw that I had flattened the rose bush. Oh my. I have lots of roses in my landscape so I know the bushes can be trimmed and pruned and grow right back, but I still felt very bad about the damage I caused. And yes, the shrub grew back, because I bike through that little town several times a week and I always swivel my head to look at it, but I never stop at the exact spot anymore.

Your falls are not anything to be scared of, unless you cycle at real high speeds. Most of the falls happen while being stopped or going very slow, and the most annoying thing about it is putting holes into the expensive bike clothing. Eventually you remember the falls with as much fondness as the days with the best rides, when the temperature was just right, the sun was out, the body's energy levels were high, the flowers were blooming, the birds were singing, the traffic wasn't too bad, no dogs chased the bike and the ride was just absolutely awesome. You remember those rides, and you remember the falls.

Darcy

Laterider21958
04-25-2007, 11:36 PM
It took me a long while to start riding, even though I liked the idea and could see the health and environmental benefits, but after that first ride I was hooked. I can't believe how long it took me to take the plunge.

Now I like to commute to work when I can and don't mind riding alone. I find that keeping to bikeways or designated lanes at quiet times of the day makes for more pleasant riding. When I commute (only 2kms) I take the back streets to avoid morning traffic at busy intersections. When I leave work at mid afternoon I'm ahead of the traffic and can enjoy taking the long way home without worry.

Try your first ride on a weekend when there are less people and traffic around. It helps to build confidence. Can't help with the clips though as I don't have them (not riding a road bike).

uforgot
04-26-2007, 03:09 AM
Am I the only one here who thinks someone may be pulling our leg?

CyclaSutra
04-26-2007, 07:32 AM
Either that, or Lunita is on the moon or someplace where there's no consistent Web access... :p

uforgot
04-26-2007, 07:46 AM
Somehow, I just have this image of a couple of college guys with a six pack having a good time with our replies.

pooks
04-26-2007, 01:01 PM
That's okay. There are lots of "Lunitas" out there, you know, who will read this thread and be glad they found it.

And to those two college guys -- hey, share the brew. Don't be rude!

crazycanuck
04-26-2007, 10:10 PM
I guess if the college dudes were looking for nice chickies they've come to the right place.:p

I thought the thread was by a freak spammer hence why i waited for you guys to reply...:p

C

chakra
04-26-2007, 11:32 PM
:) Even if Lunita is not "real" I can relate to the feeling. There ar a lot of Lunitas out there, and I too have fallen!

So thank you all for being so warm and welcoming! Threads like this one brought me out of lurkdom, and into membership and my first post!

Chakra

equus123
04-27-2007, 04:43 AM
:) Even if Lunita is not "real" I can relate to the feeling. There ar a lot of Lunitas out there, and I too have fallen!

So thank you all for being so warm and welcoming! Threads like this one brought me out of lurkdom, and into membership and my first post!

Chakra

good. and that's exactly what this place is for :)

mausland1981
05-30-2007, 03:16 AM
Hey there is no need to be shy if you want to ride outside. You should be even more confident and more proud of yourself . You're not just going to improve your physical strenght but you will look good and feel good.
You can do it , no Just do it !

QUOTE=Lunita;193439]I want to start cycling. I been a couple of months in spinning classes, and now I want to buy the spd shoes, and also a new bike, but I have so many questions, and I am to shy to ride outside, what if I fall over? that would be embarrassing! anyone have had in the past the same concern?
also, what are the best shoes for spinning classes?
thanks![/QUOTE]