December 5, 2019

When I’m riding I never question anything, I just enjoy the ride

Nick Rowley

I started cycling late 2015 as I believed my fitness was getting away from after giving up football 4 years previously.
I had always followed cycling but had never really done any major cycling just a few trips out with friends when I was a kid. I guess you could say I wanted a mountain bike to fit in with friends rather than a road bike which would make me stand out.
I guess you could say I wanted to fit in more than do my own thing and that is probably why I played football for 20 years rather than went out on my bike, biking was uncool where I lived.

It was my wife who pushed me into getting my first road bike so a lot of thanks my go to here. It started off with us moving house and me wanting to commute to work so a cheap mountain bike was purchased. She had always put up with me watching the Grand Tours every summer and then looking at bikes on eBay.
After one brutal day at work I woke up feeling terrible and couldn’t get the previous day out my head, so I jumped on my 20 kilo mountain bike and just rode around for 3 hours. This is when I think my wife realised that cycling might help. That night she made me buy a second hand bike of eBay and the passion began and problems began.

I wanted to ride with people so joined the local cycling club and then self doubt hit me massively. As someone who never really cared about what people thought of me, at times I just wanted to fit in so went with the flow, but when it came to cycling I wanted to fit in. It took me 6 months to head out with the club I had joined because I wanted to fit in so much. I suddenly had this image of me looking stupid. I only really rode with the club on a weekly ride which lasted an hour and was an all out ride so the chance of getting dropped was high because I could not shake the thought of looking stupid and this made me stay quiet and often sit at the back of the group.

Health problems started as well at this time. I developed a plural drop and my blood pressure was always ridiculously low meaning if i moved to quickly or stood up to fast I would collapse and end up in hospital. This put more doubts in my head as the more I wanted to ride the more I couldn’t. I also didn’t want to burden people with the problem. I mean I didn’t even tell my wife about the collapsing until one day I collapsed in the kitchen in front of her.

I’ve slowly got over a few of the issues I mean I have started riding with a few people again and even taken apart in a few club events over the last year but the self doubt is still there so still spend 90% of my time riding alone. After almost every ride I wonder if i pushed hard enough or went far enough.

I’ve been lucky My wife has been so supportive through the whole process even when the self doubt is kicking in. I also have a couple of really close friends who ride with me at times and try and keep my head up through every so thanks are given to them.
I haven’t gone through half as much as some people but when you do not believe in yourself you just want to spend time alone and thats when the bike helps, when I’m riding I never question anything I just enjoy the ride.

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Strava: www.strava.com/athletes/12065846