No matter how much older, wiser and more confident I get, it’s always a little nerve-racking meeting a group of strangers on a course. Will I fit in, is a question I still ask. But I had no need to worry as I walked into a room of a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds who seemed very pleasant and friendly. We all settled in with a cup and tentative introductions, before Dan and Pete, our trainers, came in and got us all chatting and interacting straight away. The first morning was all theory and as I read through the pages of explanations, I thought, “how on earth am I going to remember all of this?”. Thankfully, we broke for lunch soon after that and the tasty sandwiches made me temporarily forget my worries.
Things got a little worse for me personally when we went outside for the afternoon to practice BASIC level one standard training. This is stuff like getting on a bike, starting and stopping, steering and balancing! I mean BASIC!! We split into 2 groups and Dan, our leader, got us straight in with teaching each other, demonstrating and assessing. I realised then I had lots of bad habits and wasn’t doing some of the moves properly, and worse still, nerves made me feel all wobbly!. I guess having never done cycling proficiency in the past, I just got on the bike and learned as I went along. Not the best way, I now realise. I suppose it’s a bit like after driving for years, you go back for a test and most probably fail due to all the bad habits you’ve acquired but that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to drive or you are not safe, does it? To teach, you need to break down each step and make it clear, thats all we were doing really, but for now, I felt awkward on my bike and really quite tense. To be honest, by the time I got home I was feeling a little down. But never one to give up, I decided to ask my daughter to help me practice and we had a bit of fun as she bossed me about loving every minute of telling me what to do!!
Well, tomorrows another day, lets see how I fare.Author : Daniel VAN LERBERGHE