How To Ride A Bike (When You Are Over 30 Years Old)

Victory Cyclist by Trendy Wall Designs

Victory Cyclist Wall Art Decal by Trendy Wall Designs. Click on the image to visit the store.

Today I am celebrating my very first bike ride ~ YAY ME!!

Ok, well maybe I am over exaggerating a little bit on the “very first” part but it was my first ride on a road bike, by myself without any help and I personally think that it is a huge achievement.

 LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING

Way back when I was 5 or 6 years old, my parents bought me a bike as a gift for my birthday or christmas or something like that. The bike was bright pink (of course) with long tassels hanging from the handle bars and a white basket at the front which was decorated with flowers. The bike had training wheels and I didn’t take the training wheels off for a very, very long time!

Girls Bike - Pink From Amart Sports

My first bike looked something like this one which is from amartsports.com.au

GROWING UP

I was allowed to ride this bike anywhere I wanted, as long as it was in the back yard. Most of the time I rode on the grass because if I fell over it wouldn’t hurt as much as falling on to the concrete. A much safer approach.

I vividly remember my mum screaming at me. She forever warned us not to go on the road. It is too dangerous, she would say. There are a lot of cars on the road and you might get run over.

Fast tracking to my teenage years I was super excited that mum let us ride our bikes through the bike track. However this was always supervised and we were never allowed to ride too far or be in a spot that was out of mum’s sight.

That is my total childhood experience of bike riding.

My husband (the bodybuilder) had a slightly different childhood and being a ‘boy’ he seems to know absolutely everything there is to know about riding bikes. I’m sure that he had BMX bikes and dirt bike and did special tricks and jumps and how to go super fast. The thought of all that scares the shit out of me but for him… it’s completely natural.

Motocross Wall Art by Pondicherry Vinyl.

Motocross Wall Art by Pondicherry Vinyl. Click on the image to visit the etsy store.

FAST FORWARD A BIT AND NOW WE ARE IN OUR 30′s

We are looking for something fun to do together and so we decided to give bike riding a go. I thought to myself… how hard can it be?? Just like “riding a bike” right?

After a lot of online research, my husband found us the perfect bikes to ride. We went shopping and got the whole set of bike riding stuff from a store in the city and then we were set. I had the bike, I had the helmet, I had the fancy shoes that lock in to the peddles, I had the lycra (which is soooo unflattering it’s not funny), I had a new back pack and a new water bottle. Most importantly I had Map My Ride downloaded on my phone ready to track this new awesome experience.

BEING A “REAL” CYCLIST

I imaged us riding on the road like all of the fancy riders that you see early on Saturday mornings. They look so fit and they ride in groups and they are always riding really fast. As stupid as it sounds, I honestly thought that I could jump on the bike and start riding like one of them… cyclist.

Trek Bikes Road Cyclists

What real road cyclists look like on trekbikes.com

RIDING FOR A CAUSE

I think we even signed up for the Rio Tinto Ride to Cure Cancer - a two-day cycling event where you ride throughout Queensland’s scenic countryside to raise money for a good cause.

Ha.

Nup. That so did not happen.

CRASHING

My first ride on a road bike lasted exactly 100 meters to the top of the street.

I freaked out and I crashed. There was a car on the road (surprise, surprise) and I ran in to the gutter, busted a tire, scratched my new bike and grazed my legs to the point where there was lots of blood and I didn’t think I would ever walk again. Then I spent the next two days complaining about the pain between my crouch which was caused from the sitting on the very uncomfortable bike seat.

The bikes went back in the shed.

My husband didn’t stop laughing and I was mortified.

It was like all of my dreams of becoming one of those “road bikies” came crashing down… literally.

Poster print is available to purchase from Handz. Click on the photo to be directed to the store.

Poster print is available to purchase from Handz. Click on the photo to be directed to the store.

So, yes I am a little bit excited by today’s bike ride. I got back on the bike and tried again and again. Then, today I did it all by myself! It was the first ride that I did, without any help from my husband and without crashing.

Keep Calm and Pedal On

Keep Calm and Pedal On by Tessyla. Click on the image to visit her store.

Since the title of the post is “How To Ride A Bike When You Are Over 30 Years Old” I think that I should leave you with a few tips. This is what worked for me:

Tip 1: Start Riding!

Don’t worry about all of the ‘stuff’ that you can buy. It’s not important unless you have been riding for a while. Get on a bike and just go.

Tip 2: Ride in a Safe Place

Don’t go on the road until you feel confident to do it. Start by riding on a bike track or at a park. You will build your skills without worrying about road rules and on coming traffic.

Tip 3: Go With A Friend

Riding a bike is more fun with a friend. They keep you going when you don’t feel like riding anymore. Having a friend around (especially one that knows how to ride) will be a great assistance just in case you have questions or if something goes wrong.

Tip 4: Build Courage

This took me a while. In fact I am still building my courage. Every time a car drives by or i come up to a bridge or a hill i freak out. Don’t let this stop you. Have the freak out… it’s ok! Take it slow and master one challenge at a time. For me, the first challenge was learning how to hold the handle bars properly. Remember you can alway get off your bike, walk across the path and then get back on the bike again. Which leads me to the next tip…

Tip 5: Get Back On Your Bike

No matter what happens, get back on your bike and try again. Through practise you will get better. You might fall, you might hurt yourself, you might damage your bike, you may get laughed at… but don’t let any of this get to you. Simply get back on your bike and ride again.

Do You Have Any Tips For Riding A Bike? 

Please share them, by posting in the comments.

Us at 30... riding a bike. Well he rides, I'm still learning!

Us at 30… riding a bike. Well he rides, I’m still learning!

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Time Flys… and Blogging is a Challenge!

Where did all the time go?

It’s August already and my last blog post was way back in February. At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would write more. I even put a “postaday” stamp on my side bar and planned, with very good intentions, to actually post something every single day.

Eat Sleep Blog Repeat

That didn’t happen.

Nor did any of the other challenges that I set for myself in the past. Remember the 90 Day Paleo Challenge? I was sooo committed at the start but the crazy diet lasted less than 2 weeks. I have attempted to do a 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge about ten times now. But getting to the hot room is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. The most consecutive bikram classes that I have ever done is four days. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to thirty. Oh, and then there was the Teacher Outfit Challenge. I started this silly idea right before my final teaching prac. I should have known better! Teachers have so much more important things to do then to snap selfies in the morning. My days and nights were filled with lesson planning and preparations, so I didn’t get a spare moment to think about what to wear. That challenge ended promptly after week two.

Despite my commitment issues… I love a good challenge. I love what it teaches me! I just need to learn how to successfully complete a project before moving on to the next.

 

Almost a year ago, I was at the ProBlogger Event at the QT on the Gold Coast. Feeling inspired by people like Darren Rowse and Amy Porterfield I wrote a very big action list of things that I learnt and everything I wanted to implement. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I forgot to finish that list too.

One challenge I have successfully completed (a few times) is the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. It is super fun! I snap photos from my iPhone and post them on Instagram according to the daily photo prompt. Looking back on all the photos is a great way to reflect on how much has happened and how quickly time flys by. I’m going to continue this challenge (I think) for as long as I can, and at the end of each month I’ll post a summary of the month.

So here is the official WARNING to all my readers: I am about to ACTION a whole heap of stuff on my to do list. That will include lots of new blog posts about places we have travelled to, cafes and restaurants that we have eaten at and other cool stuff that we have done in the last few months.

Life is a fun journey of lessons and experiences and I want to remember it forever. That’s why I blog.

Much love,

Sia xx

 

Bikram Yoga & Self Awareness

Yoga & Self Awareness

I have been practicing yoga for a few years now and the most important thing that I have learnt is this:

“When I practice yoga, I feel good. When I don’t practice yoga, I feel like crap.”

The difference is obvious across all aspects of my life. I know and feel the difference between my yoga self and my non-yoga self. With each class I try to learn and understand more about yoga so that I can pin point exactly what is having such a dramatic effect on me. I can’t say that there is any one thing. Yoga is not a pill that you can take and expect a quick fix. One class on its own will not make you skinny, fit or healthy.  However, after one class you will notice instant change.

Yoga can create instant change in your body, in your mind and in your life. The change may be really slight but it is always there. You shift as a person and you grow.

I learn something new about myself after each and every class. These lessons make me more aware and encourage a greater sense of self. Yoga encourages and facilitates self-awareness.

Self Awareness and YogaI have practiced many different styles of yoga but Bikram yoga is my favourite. It is very different to other yogas. Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room and once you choose to go in to the room, you are not allowed to leave. You are ‘forced’ to stay in the room and as a result you will benefit from just being around all the energy of others.  In Bikram, you need to look at yourself in the mirror in order to correct your postures. This ‘forces’ you to look at yourself, accept yourself and smile at yourself. In Bikram, the teacher does not practice with you, instead the teacher uses a dialogue to guide you. You are ‘forced’ to shut off your mind so that you can listen and follow.

When I use the word ‘force’ I don’t mean for it to sound negative. In fact I truly believe that it is this ‘force’ which pushes you to try harder, do better and learn more about yourself.

In Bikram, you practice the same routine of postures in the same order every single time. This means that you always know what to expect. You know how well you are doing and you know what you need to do in order to improve. This in itself ‘forces’ awareness of your practice.

Bikram yoga inspires so many creative ideas. After one class, I write millions of potential blog posts in my mind. I don’t always get to write these posts here on my blog, but i would like to write more often. Perhaps I will from now on. Perhaps this will also help me to become more self-aware and to actually pin point the reasons why yoga makes me feel good.

Namaste

Driving Around Ireland – Photo Flashback

Driving Around Ireland

One of the first countries that we visited on our big Europe trip was Ireland. We hired a car and drove around the country, that is, until we ran out of money for petrol. This picture was taken somewhere along the drive. I don’t know exactly where it was taken… but we liked the view and just decided to stop for a while.

If you know where this spot is, then please tell me in the comments!

Dear Higher Self, Please Forgive Me!

Bikram Yoga Quote

Dear Higher Self,

Please forgive me for I have sinned. It has been 5 weeks since my last yoga class and I am feeling really guilty.

My digestion is clogged up and my belly feels bloated. My skin is breaking out with pimples and the scales are going up. My mind is racing around like crazy and it feels like the world is sitting on my shoulders. Simple tasks in life feel like like a struggle to accomplish. My food choices are unhealthy and I have eaten too much chocolate and cake. I know that this is because I have been eating mindlessly without consciousness or awareness.  I have lost focus and I’m feeling depressed.

Life is not the same without a mind – body connection.  Life is not the same when I don’t practice yoga or take the time to meditate.

Please forgive me, for I have mistreated my self, my body and my mind.

Today I will make it up to you. Today I will do a yoga class. I will do Bikram yoga. I will feel the heat on my body and I will allow myself to sweat. I will drink water to hydrate and I will smile at myself in the mirror.

Bikram Yoga Quote

Dear Higher Self, today I will offer you unconditional love. I will allow you to be you. It doesn’t matter how well you do in the class. It doesn’t matter how deep your stretch goes. It doesn’t matter if you have to sit down for a posture or two. The most important thing is that I show up and practice.

Through yoga practice I will focus again. I will breath again. I will create awareness again. I will ‘be’ again.

All I need to do is get my arse to class!

It is never too late to start from scratch again…

The Coloured Buildings in Copenhagen – Photo Flashback – Denmark

The Coloured Buildings in Copenhagen

While in Copenhagen, we took a boat tour around the city. This photo was snapped as soon as we boarded the boat, before we actually began the tour. The coloured buildings along the water were a beautiful site to see. Cafes and restaurants occupy the bottom level of the buildings and there are a lot of tourists in this part of the city.