Like Riding a Bike…

Posted on behalf of Jana Wilkes, Community Outreach Coordinator, Team East

My biking experience this summer has been a little like the character Calvin’s attempts from my favorite comic, Calvin and Hobbes. Every time he tried to get on his bike it ended up attacking him.

c and h

See what I mean?

After I fell off my bike in June I was looking a lot like Calvin after he tried to bike. People encouraged me by saying, “well it will only get better from here on out because it can’t get worse!” There were moments when I doubted this—what if I fall off my bike again? However I’m happy to say that it has gotten better.

jana trailier

Me pulling the trailer for the first time!

Last Wednesday, Team East had a hilly twenty mile bike ride from Pepperell to Ashburnham. After we had gotten through the worst of the hills it was my turn to pull the trailer. I was nervous; it was my first time pulling the trailer and I still didn’t fully trust my bike. Rachel helped me hitch my bike to the trailer and off I went! Somehow all 105 pounds of me managed to pull the 60-70 pound trailer plus all my gear. I was pretty nervous for the first downhill. Thoughts of me flying out of control from the extra weight of the trailer ran through my mind. Guess what? I didn’t end up like Calvin.

tuula horse

Tuula on a horse!

Throughout these past weeks I’ve been internalizing some wise words Tuula told me: Bikes are like horses. If a horse senses even the slightest bit of fear, then it knows that it can buck you off. When riding a horse you need to remember that you are in control. It is similar to biking: you are in control of your bike.

I’m feeling now a lot less like Calvin on his bike and more like Tuula on a horse. Finally pulling the trailer finalized my newfound confidence on my bike. It was the last biking hurdle to get over this summer and I did it. Next week we are travelling west to Montague where it is going to get much hillier. Bring on those hills!

About njansen16

My name is Nicholas Jansen and I'm entering my fourth and last year at the University of Michigan. My major is Program in the Environment (PitE) with a specialization in water.
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