(Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA)
I've always been nervous around bikes and even worse, when I get on one. Falling wasn't even the main issue for me. Anything was. My mind would conjure up some crazy ideas that I would slam into a moving car or lose control if I hit a rock, or maybe my front wheel would suddenly pop off, or the brakes would stop working... I was definitely on the brink of 'terrified of bicycles'.
Two months after falling off my bike and skidding on tarred gravel, I became more dependant on bike travel. I found a friend that bikes everywhere. His job, friends, and social life. They all involved his bike. We began biking together, not-so-short distances. He recognized my fear almost immediately after we crossed the first intersecting road of the trip. After a few days of biking together, he would shout behind him to me that it was okay to cross the street.
I quickly understood the fact that I was in control of the bike. If I were following proper safety rules, that is. And of course I was, taking every precaution in fact, because of my fear. Then I realized something else: If I'm focusing on the things that could happen to me, that's what holds me in fear. That started me on a whole new mind pattern about bicycles.
My friend knows how to ride without touching the handlebars on his bike. I was stunned when I first watched his bravery. He showed me that he can even turn without holding them! I told him I'd probably never be that good. That was the second problem I noticed in me. Doubt. I was doubting myself. So I challenged that doubt. A week later, I was riding along a straight path and suddenly decided to let go of the handlebars. I did it! I let go with courage and didn't fall!
I ride my bike with much more confidence. Now that I am more social and I don't own a car -yet- I use my bike to travel. Including long distances. But, with help from a friend and God, I have overcome my fear of bikes. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Strengthen me He did.
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