Wearing down the brakepads

I posted a note on dailymile on March 11th that my bike kinda scares me.  I wrote that statement a few days after my foot injury.  I knew I’d have to stay off my foot for the next few weeks and that the only way I’d really be able to work out would be to log workouts on my bicycle.

I’m not sure where the fear came from.  Actually, I do know where the fear comes from and ain’t comin’ from God.

I’m in the middle of Max Lucado’s book, Fearless, and I had a real come to Jesus moment the other day on my way to work: up to that point, I had let fear prevent me from doing a lot of things.

It started out fairly harmless: not wanting to ride the roller coasters at Fiesta Texas several years back.  But that initial fear metamorphosed into really irrational fears of driving over bridges … heck, just driving on the highway was starting to become an ordeal because I was afraid of getting into a car accident.  So all of this boiled down to the fear I had about getting on my bike and riding it.  Anywhere.

In addition to Lucado’s book, I have the plantar faciitis to thank for getting me on my bike.

I have, in a matter of a few weeks, come from the point of I can’t do it to I CAN and I WILL.  I don’t need no stinkin’ fear!

I do, however, need brake pads.

I got to wondering the other night on my ride if it were possible to wear down the brake pads on my bike by riding my brakes too much.  I pondered this for a couple of miles as I reasoned that car brake pads wear out if you ride them, so bike brake pads might as well.

That’s when I really and truly stopped riding my brakes on the downhills and started enjoying the journey.  It’s taken me several miles and quite a few trips alone to get to this point.  Do I guard my brakes?  Heck yeah!  Especially since my solo rides are in my neighborhood.  Just never know when a car will back out (happens all the time), a soccer ball will come flying at me (happened last week), or a pet will run from their owner or yard into the street (not yet, but I’m sure it will).  There’s a difference between fear and being safe.  Guarding the brakes is something taught in Driver’s Ed.  Guarding means I’m ready to use them if needed.  Fear means I’m gonna use them all the time, regardless of whether or not they’re needed.

I found a trail close to home that I want to do this weekend.  It’s almost 30 miles round trip and the guy who plotted the trail said it’s fairly flat and good for the new cyclist.  I told Hub and he got a little worried because of the location of the trail.  Will he ride it with me?  I’m not sure.  I told him I want to drive the trail first, so maybe if he rides along with me, he’ll feel more comfortable with repeating it all in the saddle.

A dailymile friend posted a link to a cycling challenge.  I’m passing it along to you in case you’re interested.  It’s a 30-day cycling challenge:  Ride every day of April.  Doesn’t matter the distance, just that you get out there and ride.  What could be easier?  Here’s the link to sign up:  http://30daysofbiking.com/register/index.html


Still not convinced?  Check out this video!


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