Facing Your Fear, Two Wheels At A Time

Our Pro Team athlete Emily Tidwell, Minnesota Native now Tahoe based photographer has been involved with our brand through the lens of skiing since the beginning. For many, the ski/ride community and the bike community is a web of similarities as the feeling of getting out into the mountains is the main idea. That was not the case for "Pro" Teamer, Emily. This summer Emily put on her Wild Rye Kaweah Shorts, strapped on her helmet and got to work overcoming her fear of mountain biking. 

Here's what she said about this experience: 

"It had been almost 12 years since I had last gripped a bike’s handle bars. After planting a fear in my mind from a nasty crash as a teen, I had convinced myself that bikes and I had no business being together. It was best if we just saw other people. I’d stick to skis, and they’d stick to… every other person on this planet.

We had had a weird relationship already, I hadn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 8. A little late to the game, my inability to balance on two tires turned into a full time gig for my friends to tease me about. To save my ego, I eventually took to removing my training wheels and careening down my steep gravel driveway, both feet off the pedals for an emergency heel digging brake system, which resulted in several high speed crashes into bushes, trees, anything that got in my way. To say I eventually crash coursed my way into riding my bicycle is almost too literal to bear.

Fear is a crazy thing. The further you push your fears, the farther they seem to move from you. If you challenge fear, it backs down. It was something I had noticed in skiing, in owning my own business, in finding happiness, healthiness, everything. The more you push it, the further fear runs. So as I pushed my bike up the steep single track in the foothills of Reno, 3 steps behind my boyfriend, Max, I ran every scenario of how this day would just be the worst. Fear told me I’d never make it down the first hill, Max told me to just remember the techniques. Fear told me no, Max told me I’d better go first and keep pedaling. And as I rode down my first trail, gripped like no other, gliding around corners and navigating rocks, fear backed down.

It’s been a month, and while learning any new skill is challenging, and at 30 quite humbling, I’ve found my fear replaced with an absolute love of biking. 13 year old me would be so proud, and isn’t that just so incredibly important? I always show up for younger me, I think she deserves it the most.  I’m so lucky to be a part of the Wild Rye team that not only keeps me warm in the winter but cheers on my new summer passions, protecting my bum the whole way. Thank you, Wild Rye, for the continued support. " 

PS - Emily's Kaweah Ranunculus shorts will be back in stock late-September.

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