Facing the fear of cycling alone

My brief afternoon ride πŸ˜ƒ #cycling #relive

A post shared by Hayatti Rahgeni (@hayattirahgeni) on

I rarely cycle alone on the road.

One of the main concerns that I have if I cycle alone is what if I have a flat tire.

I experience this once so far and unfortunately it happened during a race. The feeling that I had that time was helplessness, and I was upset at the thought I would DNF (did not finish). Fortunately there were two male cyclists who helped me and I was able to complete the event.

I haven’t learnt how to change bicycle flat tires.

Not having the skill to change bicycle’s flat tire made me think twice to cycle alone and to cycle further on my own.

There are other concerns that I do have when I cycle alone.

  1. I’m responsible for my own safety on the road. Which means be alert, not be distracted and eyes on the road at all times.
  2. I need to communicate (using hand signals) to other drivers of where I’m going (left, right, slow down).
  3. Back up plans if something’s happened.

When I cycle with bobby, I don’t worry much because most of the time Bobby is the one leading me. He would be the one doing the hand signaling and I just followed. Flat tire? Not to worry, Bobby can change it for me. Tired? We can go back. Hungry? We can stopped by at kedai runcit along the road and buy food. Exhausted? We can rest for a while to recuperate before cycle again.

It feels so safe to cycle with Bobby.

And so when I decided to cycle alone a lot of fears do come up for me.

Major fears like what if I get hit by a car or got into self accident and no one was there to provide assistance. At least with Bobby there’s two of us.

Having the fearsΒ above did stop me from cycling alone. I’d rather stayed at home and not exercising at all.

Now that I’d rather be active (except when I’m injured), I had to rationalize my fears and come up with ideas and back up plans so that my fears don’t stop me from cycling alone.

Below are the brief list of how I rationalized my fears.

Concern of getting hit by car – Be highly visible. Wear bright colour shirt/jersey. Cycle in the morning or afternoon. If at night, cycle at lighted roads and/or empty road, use extra lights, reflective vest etc.

Concern of self accident – Cycle on good condition roads. Be alert. No distraction. Having quick reflexes might be helpful.

Concern of flat tire – Find a short loop to cycle. Choose a distance that you don’t mind walking your bike. For me personally, I would go for 5km loop or less.

When fear is overwhelming this is when I should consider working out at home which I’m pretty lazy to do. I’d rather go out to exercise really.

I’ve done cycling alone by myself. The furthest I’ve done was 20km on a 5km loop. The recent one that I did was cycling from home and cycled for 9km and back home (as shown by the video above). I was nervous before I started because it’s a small road and there are houses on the left and right where people do drive in and out of the road.

Nevertheless I did it! I survived the 18km loop without any harm to myself and my bike!

I can’t say that I look forward to cycling alone coz I’m not. But I will do it if I need to and if it’s necessary.

 

To more courageous adventures!

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My first 70km cycle

I was contemplating whether to join the 100km cycle organized by Ministry of Health considering the longest distance that I’ve had ridden was 50km just 3 weeks ago.

What I know about my body so far was:

In my 43km ride, I hit my breaking point at 35km. In my 50km ride, because I pushed myself too hard, I hit my breaking point at 27km. I experienced cramps in weird places and it was so freaking uncomfortable for me.

In my mind, I doubted that I could do 100km. I had the confidence that I could do 70km or 75km max. I just didn’t know when I would hit my breaking point.

So I made up my mind to join the 100km ride on Tuesday but to be honest I was just prepared to go for 70km.

Bobby did share with me that we can always head back to stadium if I couldn’t cope with the ride.

So we woke up way way early on that Sunday morning. Arrived at stadium a few minutes after 6am.

CAMERA

Took a video while briefing before we started the cycle this morning.

A post shared by Hayatti Rahgeni (@hayattirahgeni) on

After briefing was done then we all started the ride.

We weren’t even went as far as 5km and both of us were left behind by the group. We were going up hill and I admit riding up hills is one of my weaknesses.

We went passed by Supa Save Mabohai and headed straight to Bandarku Ceria then to JP.

IMG_20170516_121544

It was after 1hr and 45mins then we stopped by JP and looked for open stalls. Fortunately, there was one that opened early. We ordered small breakfast. By this time my body felt tired from the ride. We rested for a while until I felt ready to ride again.

On our way to JP, we saw the group left JP and according to the 100km route, they were heading straight to Muara roundabout.

Before we continued our ride, Bobby was asking me if I wanted to go to Muara following the 100km route.

For a split second I was considering it. But my common sense convinced me to just cut short the ride. I told Bobby I wanted to go back and he said ok and then he shared with me the safest route to go to Bandarku Ceria for another pit stop then back to Stadium.

So from JP we passed by Rimba then Tungku then we went up to Old Airport and to the roundabout.

By the time we reached to the roundabout, it was a few minutes to 10am and a policeman reminded us to ride on the side of the road.

We continued our cycle until we reached Bandarku Ceria. We stopped and bought a drink and also my favourite spicy chicken! 😍 Would you believe me if I said my Sunday wouldn’t be complete without those spicy chicken? πŸ˜‚ Oh yeah… I am so addicted!

Owh we also met Hj Zaini, a cyclist and also Bobby’s swimming student, while we were resting at Bandarku Ceria.

After I was recovered, I told Bobby that I wanted to go through the hill after Supa Save Mabohai. Bobby was surprised that I suggested that and he said ok.

So we passed by Yayasan, Kianggeh, STIPRI, Supa Save Mabohai, MOF, Pusat Dakwah and turned left on the roundabout headed straight to Stadium.

By the time we arrived at Stadium, I checked my watch and it was 65km. I checked in with my body and I was feeling fine.

Bobby was behind me and I told him to make it 70km. So Bobby led the way, he said he knew a 5km route to make our ride 70km. Bobby also set the pace because he knew that I tend to push myself.

At 65km I was fine but at 67km my thighs started to burn and my knees were in pain. I felt I didn’t want to pedal anymore. But I had to continue otherwise I wouldn’t hit my target goal of 70km.

I rode the hill next to MOF one more time before headed back to Stadium.

My recovery time from the ride was 120 hours. Apparently my watch Suunto says I should rest for 5 days.

There were so many times I felt tired while cycling. Most of the time from going up hill. Sometimes I felt pain on both knees. I also felt hungry on my way to JP.

However, I was so surprised that I was able to withstand sitting on my bike for 4hrs. I remember a time when I couldn’t even last 10 mins on my bike. πŸ˜‚

I am so proud of myself for my first 70km ride. I definitely look forward to cycle for 100km. And of course I am gonna start to do more​ training, cycling up hills from now onwards.

Until next time,

my-name s