Monday, August 23, 2010

Midnight Madness Bike Ride

Saturday night we rode our bikes in the 37th Annual Midnight Madness Fun Bike Ride.  It's 2,000 cyclists riding a 20 mile route through San Diego. The ride goes through some of the prettiest sections of downtown - along the bay, the Embarcadero, Little Italy, Old Town, Shelter and Harbor Islands.  I run those areas often, but never at night and it was beautiful to see the city lights and the boats lit up in the harbor.

Despite the fact the we had race bibs, it's a fun ride not a race.  There's a Light Your Bike contest.  Many of the cyclists are in costumes.  My personal favorite costumes were the people who showed up as astronauts with one cyclist towing the Apollo 11.  Fantastic!

Race or not, this is exactly the type of bike event that has terrified me in the past - the bedlam of a mass start, riding on the roads. I've really been working on my bike handling and it paid off for me.  The ride was fine and so was I.  Except for one little thing. The course was flat with some gentle rolling hills. Then there was one really steep downhill toward the end of the course.  I wasn't expecting it at all.  I turned a corner and suddenly it's a drop zone. I couldn't do it.  I had to walk my bike down the hill.

Okay, here's the thing.  I'm a perfectionist, not with other people but with myself. The fact that I had to get off my bike upset me.  A lot.  I was nearly in tears because I felt such a huge sense of failure for walking down a hill for a quarter of a mile. 

Let's get some perspective.  Saturday morning I did an exercise class followed by my full triathon workout:.Swim: 500 meters,  Bike: 15 miles, Run 3.5 miles. Saturday night, I started a ride at midnight and got past some of my big fears of group rides.  That's a day anyone should be proud to complete. Tears?  Over a hill?  I've got to get over it!

Setting high goals is a good thing.  Letting my perfectionist tendencies bring me to tears at the end of a fantastic day was just stupid. 


  1. Other than the hill, it sounds like an amazing, fun night. We have some group rides (although nothing like that) that I've wanted to join, but never have. Congratulations on overcoming your bike fears!

  2. Those moments make you stronger in the end. I have them all the time! Glad to find your blog!