Last year, I wrote about getting my lean back. This year, it is about how it gets better.
It’s spring, and from the looks of things, it’s the first, second, third, and many other seasons for riders. It’s the first few seasons that I’m thinking of. Bikes are approached with wonderment, desire, and maybe a bit of fear or concern. Am I going to be able to ride well? So many long-term riders seem to be able to start and stop riding with such ease, will I ever be one of them? Will riding ever come naturally (after a break)?
My first season was short – a month and a half. Then winter break for a month or so. Getting back on was a bit touchy. I had to basically teach myself to ride again. My head got it, but my body didn’t, and that resulted in a lot of confusing signals. It was work.
My next season was my first full one, and it was good. Coming back after winter break was easier, but I still needed some time to equilibrate. My third season was similar – I needed time to get back on my horse, and then my horse decided to die, which caused all sorts of other issues. Namely, the need for a spare horse. Which I then had to acclimate to. The next winter brought a two-and-a-half-month break and a move back to the US. Different land, different rules, different roads. Oof, it was really a challenge to come back. I had lost my lean. I had lost a lot of things. But slowly, it all came back.
This winter’s break was different for some reason. It was longer – three months. I changed my horse up again by swapping out the suspension for some better-fitting kit. I didn’t take a BRC this year. I’d spent the three months dealing with a back injury. I still faced a few jitters about getting back on. Was it going to be iffy again this year?
That’s what I’m here to tell you. It got better. Not just a bit better, but way better. This year, when I hopped on my bike, my body responded without my brain needing to tell it what to do. I had my lean back from the get-go. The onset of riding is better this year, because finally, my body completely gets it. It gets it well enough not to forget it. I was surprised, I admit. My brain needs to do a little catching up, but doggone, my body… So good. So many things that I notice myself doing right, without even considering the situation consciously. Trusting myself is good. Knowing that I finally have the muscle memory down pat is really good.
So if it’s your first or second spring back from break and you’re not 100% sure of yourself, don’t worry. It gets better every time.