This week I was in Manchester for the Training Peaks Endurance Coaching Summit. As part of the conference I had the chance to ride on the Velodrome.
I’m a little bit scared of heights and scared of falling of any bike. Having suffered with rather a lot of injuries in recent years I’m scared of hurting myself. I didn’t exactly grow up climbing trees or doing wheelies and sometimes I get scared of going fast! Whilst I was super excited about the opportunity, I was also a little bit nervous.
A Velodrome bike doesn’t have any brakes and is a fixed wheel. The track is so steep it might as well be a brick a wall and in order to get round the bends you have to ride quite fast!
Once I got the hang of the fixed wheel and remembered I didn’t have any brakes, I soon mastered stopping, starting and riding in a straight line. But remained petrified of the corners for 59 minutes out of the 60minute session! It was quite stressful and my chimp brain did tell me to get off the bike several times.
Anyway recognising my chimp brain, and with the mantra “feel the Fear and do it anyway” (Susan Jeffers), I stuck with it and did feel better towards the end of the session.
I can definitely see how it could be addictive and how it would improve general cycling skills and confidence. I added it to my bucket list of cycling activities to do at some point in the future when I’m less pressed for time and don’t have an Ironman addiction to deal with.
A few days later I went out on my bike round the Warwickshire country lanes.
And I felt aammmaaazzziing. Corners and descents just seemed to flow!
Just one hour of doing something scary had helped to build my confidence and self-belief. Just one hour on the Velodrome had helped my cornering and descending skills!
So go on “feel the fear and do it anyway”.