Today on The Kona Edge we catch up with Aida Wasilewsky and chat about her Ironman bike. Having suffered several injuries on the bike she shares with us how she conquered her fear of getting back on the bike after an accident. We find out the importance of fit and comfort and things that make you love your bike.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome back to yet another edition of The Kona Edge coming to you from a sunny Cape Town. We head to California to catch up with Aida Wasilewsky. Aida welcome back. Nice to chat.
Your bike, obviously you come from a running background but you mentioned you’ve ridden a bit of mountain bike. Your first triathlon was on a mountain bike as well. Is it something you’re learning to love? Is it something you do enjoy getting out and putting in the miles?
AIDA WASILEWSKI: Oh yes. Thank you for having me back again. I love my bike now and I do love spending time on the bike. I actually get excited when I can get on my bike and can get out there.
BRAD BROWN: You say you love your bike now, there have been times where you haven’t been the biggest fan of being on the bike.
Taking time to love your bike
AIDA WASILEWSKI: Absolutely. I used to hear people say, Oh I get off my bike and I kiss my bike and say Thank you I love you and I’d go mmm, I don’t feel that way. I would say I’m waiting for that day. Now I do feel that. I really do. I have done some double rides in a day in training for Kona that my coach had me do and each time I got off I thought ‘That felt good’. Good, great at times. I love my bike.
BRAD BROWN: What brought about that change? What is it that made it that way for you from going through a point where you thought mmm maybe not so much, to the point where you do love it now?
Position and comfort help you build stronger legs on the bike
AIDA WASILEWSKI: One was position on the bike. Getting comfortable on the bike. I’ve had quite a few different fits and I’m finally where I need to be on the bike. So, I’m comfortable on my bike. I think that helped a lot. And then the training, the power. The high power, low cadence training that made me stronger and just given me more confidence that I’m riding better so when I’m out there I don’t feel like I’m always having to work so so hard to get that little bit faster. I’m stronger. I think having stronger biking legs has definitely made me enjoy being on the bike more.
BRAD BROWN: And sadly, the only way to get those is by spending lots of time on the bike. They don’t sell those, do they?
BRAD BROWN: That’s fantastic. Aida, you also had a few crashes on the bike too. You mentioned confidence, you’re a lot more confident on the bike now but that also goes up and down. Bouncing back from a big crash from a confidence perspective is difficult. How have you dealt with that?
Having courage after a bike accident
AIDA WASILEWSKI: Oh, you can say that again, seriously. Courage is the word I can give you. Being courageous enough, honestly. After my very first crash which actually happened on my mountain bike it took me months to get back on the bike. When I was on my road bike and had my tri-bike and had my first crash on the tri-bike I knew that was the first thing I had to do was get back on my bike as soon as possible. If not, it would become this big monster in my head and I would have a hard time getting back on it. Getting back on the bike and knowing that I had to just keep riding to get the fear out of me. I’ve done it over and over again and honestly it doesn’t get any easier with each crash. I’ve had to literally have the courage to come back and work at it. But it comes back.
It’s just a matter of being consistent and being on there and just each ride giving you that little bit more confidence that you can do it. The winds scares me and I have to tell you the Kona winds scare me to no end. In fact, in training, when I was there this year, in Kona, the week prior to race I went to ride that scary ride from the marina up to Hawi and back. It’s an 18 mile stretch up to Hawi, I literally, it was so windy that day that I stopped and I started crying because I was petrified. I was like what if I fall again? What if I fall right now? My riding partner said we could turn around right now, we were only 5 miles into the ride, and I said no I can’t do that. If I do that right now it’s going to be this monster in my head till race day. I have to do this. He said okay, let’s go. Literally my legs were shaking but the more I went the better I felt and by the time I got to Hawi I was like okay, okay, I made it.
It’s just having the courage to do it and then you get rewarded for it with confidence. That was the best thing I could have done this year honestly. Come race day the wind was there and I thought but I just did it. I’m good and I’m going to be fine and I did not end up wasting energy just being scared of the wind.
BRAD BROWN: I love that. And I think that’s awesome advice. There’s lots of people that always say there’s 2 types of cyclists, those that have fallen off a bike and those haven’t fallen yet. The key as you say is just getting your head around it and getting out there. Being courageous and doing what it takes. I think that’s fantastic advice.
Aida, thank you so much for joining us on this edition of The Kona Edge, much appreciated. We look forward to getting you back on and talking about your strong one, the run. We’ll save that for next time out if that’s good.
AIDA WASILEWSKI: Thank you for having me back.