Saturday, February 10, 2018

I Don't Want To Be Afraid

I admit that in the last 2 weeks I've had some fears about riding my bike outside. I don't want to be afraid, but when you see your friend in the hospital all broken, its hard not to be.

There's risk in just about everything we do. Sure, some activities incur more risk than others, but if we had to lead risk-free lives, none of us would ever leave our homes. And even that, in itself, is a certain type of risk.

I knew Nikki wanted to go ride Tantalus again. She told me how she didn't want to be afraid. I don't want to be afraid either. So ok. We face our fear and conquer it together? We planned to ride Tantalus together this morning.

I didn't sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and couldn't help but wonder if I was being an idiot? Those drift car guys commented a lot, Why would you ride your bike on a road where you know people drift? Maybe a valid question? In fairness, I rode that mountain for 13 years and didn't know that anyone drifted there. BUT. Now I know. So is it dumb to go back and ride my bike there? Or is it necessary? It's legal to ride a bike there. But is it safe? Is it smart? Is it ok? I mean, surely on a Saturday morning it would be ok?

I wanted to exercise my right to ride my bike on Tantalus. It's a beautiful mountain! It's a challenging climb! It's the type of ride cyclists live for. And yet. I got up feeling nauseous and sick and there was this little part of me that feared that I might not come home today. I hated that feeling, so I squashed it as quickly as I could and went about my business.

And guess what? It was a beautiful morning. Nikki and I climbed and talked and waved Aloha at every other cyclist we saw (and we saw a lot!). We saw people running and residents out walking their dogs. It felt like a state park. There were hardly any cars, and the ones we did see seemed to go out of their way to be nice. At one point, a police car passed us. We waved really enthusiastically at him and gave him a thumbs up as if to say MAHALO, MR OFFICER! He waved back at us. Seeing that patrol car driving around the mountain went a long way toward making us feel safe. I got home and sent a thank you note to HPD to hopefully encourage them to keep up the good work. If they continue to have a strong presence up there enforcing the law, that mountain will be safer for all of us to use and enjoy.

This morning, I felt safe. And I remembered why I love riding my bike outside.