Scaredy cat

scaredy cat

“Ooh you’re brave”. That’s usually the first thing many people say to me when they find out I ride a bike.

Now anyone who knows me well will know that one thing I am definitely not, is brave.

As a kid, I was the one who’d be too terrified to climb the wall bars in PE lessons, refused to climb a tree or go on a swing that was more than a foot off the ground. I was cripplingly shy for years, scared of talking to anyone.  I didn’t even learn to ride a bike until I was 14, mainly because I was terrified of falling off the thing.

It’s true I’m over the shyness these days but I still don’t like fairgrounds, rollercoasters fill me with terror and horror movies leave me gibbering. A little yappy dog barked at me the other day and I squealed like I was being pursued by a pack of wolves. Nah, I’m definitely still a wuss.

‘Brave’ is any number of things; defusing a violent situation, facing a serious illness with cheerfulness, taking a stand against oppression. Riding a bike is not brave, riding a bike is simply a way of getting from A-B.

Let’s stop being scared everyone. Yes it can be dangerous, but so can chopping vegetables for your dinner. Start like I did, with a little pedal around your local park. Then a little pedal down some quiet back roads. Then the fun stuff – finding bike routes that keep you away from the heavy traffic  and let you discover amazing little secret corners of your city – believe me, they are there. Go out with friends, cycle groups, clubs.  Confidence grows in groups;  for example I love to sing, being in a choir makes me feel brave enough to perform.

Before you know it you’ll be merrily riding a bike around all over the place. Even if you’re a complete scaredy cat like me.

photo credit: enggul via photopin cc

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