A mental barrier is a barrier that we put in our minds that keeps us from doing something or acting upon something. And I, for one, had a huge barrier about cycling from Borivili to Thane via Ghodbunder Road. Don’t ask me why! I had dropped out twice before despite being gung-ho about joining.
On Saturday, February 27, 2016, Nitin and I discussed on the group about doing this ride and we agreed to go ahead with it the next day. Skeptical I was but what worked for me in the past (when I did the 100 km ride) was that I committed to a couple of dear friends. That pressure always would weigh on my head trying to back out so I took off with Nitin at 0630 on Sunday, February 28, 2016.
As luck would have had it, Nitin’s rear wheel had a flat at Jogeshwari which was beyond repair. Since he has a BTWin, he took an auto from Jogeshwari to Decathlon to get that fixed. I thought this was my golden chance to chicken out. I could simply go to Borivili National Park entrance and turn back as that was the farthest I had gone to on the Western Express Highway (WEH). And the WEH is definitely not as good as the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) which I love to ride on. The mind immediately started googling for excuses on why should I not go it alone to Decathlon. Some of the reasons, I could whip up:
- I am alone. What if I am attacked by a dog? (Always my first excuse thanks to my mortal fear of the canine species)
- Ghodbunder Road is treacherous I am told. Slopes galore (my Achilles heal)
- I am told tires tend to get punctured. What will I do? (I don’t know how to fix a puncture as yet – Shame on me!!)
- It is getting hot. What will happen? (What if I get dehydrated or my sugar level drops?)
Despite all the search results in my mind, I continued. Rode over all the bridges from Jogeshwari so could practice riding uphill on slopes.
At Ghodbunder junction, turned right with a lot of mental resistance but at that time, the commitment made to friends mattered a lot. Kept me going. The slopes weren’t half as bad. I could manage them and did not have to walk up even once. Maybe the new cycle helped in that? Maybe Rony’s tips on managing gears helped? Who knows?
Made it to Decathlon where Nitin was waiting. He got his wheel fixed while I had some breakfast with black coffee to pump me up lest my sugar fell.
Left around 1130 under the blazing sun and once again took some of the bridges (I know the cardinal rule was broken but then I must also get some practice on slopes). Reached home by 1300. Quite drained out as the sun really saps you of the energy. 80.22 kms done finally.
- It is all in the mind.
- No dog ever barked at me.
- No punctures.
- Slopes could be managed with ease.
- And the heat didn’t kill me either.
So get over it and move on Manish!!
Next big ride – Keep watching!! I just love bragging so will be here:-)