I went to the cycle shop, Center Cycle, this week with the goal of test-riding a road bike. It’s a huge store and the smell of bike tires smacks you in the face when you walk in. But it’s a friendly store I’ve been in before, although just to look.

On this day, an easygoing guy named David helped me figure out what bike might be in my price range.

I tried one inside the big shop–down and back on the shiny, squeaky cement floor. I had not been on a road bike since the 8th grade. I am 35. I was happy I didn’t fall in front of all the men in the shop…or my mom, who was visiting from California (yes, I dragged her bike shopping).

I was also surprised at the lightness compared to my beast of a mountain bike at home. I handed the first bike back over to David. That’s when he offered to let me ride a bike outside. By myself. As luck would have it, it was clear and dry out in Seattle in December. But I got nervous.

“Oh, I forgot my helmet,” I said, stupidly.

He waved his arm around the cavernous store. “We’ve got one.”

Crap. I wanted to ride the bike outside, but at the same time, I didn’t want to. I declined the offer.

How the Chrissie Wellington’s book ‘Life Without Limits’ changed my day.

I am reading Chrissie Wellington‘s book “A Life Without Limits.” The only thing I knew about her, before starting her book, was that she won the Ironman World Championships in 2007 as a newcomer to triathlon.

But if you read the Chrissie Wellington book you’ll find out that she was no newcomer. Maybe combining the three sports in one race was relatively new for her, but she’d been a swimmer pretty much from birth, and running fast seemed to come naturally when she first started. She also biked all over Tibet and Nepal, among other places!

This is a woman who has been on more adventures already (and I’m only up to the year 2005 in the book) than I’ll ever go on in my entire life. And we are the same age!

Tonight, something struck me while reading Chrissie’s story.

She’s not afraid to try.

And whenever she tries anything, she usually surprises herself at how well she does.

I am happy to report that I tried riding the bike outside. I changed my mind. I decided I would try. I won’t say I wasn’t hesitant, though.

As I walked the bike out of the store, I looked back at my mom. I was secretly hoping she would follow me outside into the 32-degree weather just to make sure I would be okay. But she was looking at a rack of jackets.

This bike was a little taller and bigger than the first one I rode inside a few minutes before. (I have a long torso.) I swung my leg over and, in my jeans, rode off through the nearly empty parking lot.

As I pedaled through turns and on a long straightaway, shifted and braked, I felt completely at home. Riding the road bike felt more natural than my mountain bike. I felt light, fast and not timid at all.

I was very happy and completely surprised.