Going to the dentist freaks me out. Like most people, I don't particularly enjoy getting the insides of my mouth poked and prodded with sharp, cold, metal instruments. I might not even mind that discomfort, actually, if it wasn't for the lies.
Why is that? Like every "don't worry, this won't hurt" is dentist code for "grab the sides of this chair because I'm about to blast air onto your raw nerve! Woo!". And then there's the "relax, I'm just going to take a look [and pull out this wisdom tooth once you allow me access to the back of your mouth!!! AAAHAHAHAHAH SUCKAAAAA!!!!]." One can only take so much of that, and once I give up, lying in that dentist's chair placidly, my dentist will always tap my shoulder, saying "don't tense your shoulders up so much, relax," and if it weren't for the 4 different metal objects in my mouth, I'd tell him that I'm not tensing up, I just have broad shoulders, but thanks for reminding me of my manly attributes.
Even after surviving traumatic wisdom tooth extractions [it involved a hammer and chisel, and yes, I was conscious], I still cringe and whine before a dentist appointment. The association is too strong to have those harmless tooth cleaning sessions absolve the dental profession in my mind. And it's that same unforgiving ball of anxiety that greeted me as I threw my leg over the Dolan last night.
Because for once, it was out in the wild. More familiar [and lighter!] road drops having replaced the anvil that was my steel track drops, I had hoods to grab onto for dear life but I wasn't sure how that would actually translate. I remembered balancing precariously on those white-tired, pink-rimmed wheels and wobbling dangerously as I attempted to keep the track drops straight. I remembered almost biting it a block from my apartment. I remembered how it felt to tear open a few knees on asphalt. I remembered being on a bicycle and feeling slightly afraid.
So I cringed a bit, and felt a little uneasy sticking a foot into the toe clipped pedal. But with a deep breath, I pushed off and it felt easy. Maybe all that time on the rollers paid off. Maybe I just got better at cycling. Maybe riding the Dolan wasn't so terrifying as it was incredibly fun.
The Dolan's light aluminum frame slicing through the last rays of sunlight in the quickly darkening afternoon, I was almost tempted to ride it on the street more. Good thing my gearing borders on the impractically ridiculous if inclines are involved. Because otherwise, as stiff pain reminded me this morning, I may not have much knee left...