It’s quite odd. I ride two to three times a week, on all kinds of roads and trails. YET, every time I ride from San Lorenzo de Tarrazu down to and up from the Pirris Dam I experience anxiety. I don’t get it. It makes no logical sense (as most reactions to perceived threat don’t — they’re just, well, physical). This route is not difficult for me in any way. Baffling!
On Sunday I was sooooo happy to ride with my son, Jamie, and my dear riding buddies Robert and Fritz. We headed over to Route 2 to go down San Cristobal Norte and over to Casa del Cafe.
The San Cristobal Norte route is very curvy and goes down and up and down. It is quite picturesque. Lovely little route.
Most, if not all, of the routes along this Tarrazú/Leon Cortez area are stunning.
After breakfast at Casa del Cafe in San Antonio, we headed over to San Lorenzo to go down to the Pirris Dam. I have done this route many times. Many. Each time, I feel anxious, even on the easy part going to San Carlos before going down to the dam. I do not understand. At all. 🙂
The only thing I can think of is that I look to the side constantly because the view are so beautiful. Maybe “looking over the edge” triggers my fear of heights, which used to be terrible, but has eased quite a bit due to so much exposure therapy. Hahaha!
The road to the dam is not hard. And though, yes it is steep with hairpin curves on the way out and up, I don’t consider it a dangerous nor particularly challenging route. Yet my anxiety stayed with me all the way to the dam then to San Andres and Monterrey and did not ease till I was “out.” Despite my doing 4/7/8 breathing, which sometimes helps.
I really enjoyed it all, despite the anxiety. I particularly liked going through LLano Bonito, for it is an area that we rarely visit, as we usually go left at the top, coming up from the dam, to go to San Francisco de Leon Cortez. This whole “Los Santos” areas is breathtakingly beautiful with miles and miles of coffee fields dotted with banana trees. I highly recommend it, especially to those who have not done these less-traditional “Los Santos” routes.
Anyhow, I simply wanted to share this because it might help someone who may someday experience something similar — this felt sense of “I can’t get a grip.” Hahaha!
Some of the things I came up with yesterday to put into practice and which may help are:
- Keep my eyes on the road ahead. Don’t look over the edges.
- Slow down if needed.
- Stop more often to BREATHE and take in the scenery. We did not stop on this trip for photos, which for me is not just about the photos but about taking in the beauty and peace of the atmosphere. Such a magnifent country! I will request this next time, since I know this route tends to do this to me. (Still baffling!)
- When we stop, STOMP my feet to shake off the adrenaline.
- Put my hand on someone’s arm or shoulder when we stop, as this helps ground me.
- Maybe not have coffee before doing this trip, but I doubt I can resist. Hahaha!
This time, I was also feeling off due to my front tire being somewhat bald.
I guess I don’t feel fully “in control” these days, as I am working a new 12 Step Program, which inevitably opens old wounds; have suffered a few losses of friends; and my son is leaving to go live in New York. 🙂
Just life happening! With a bit of drama and trauma, but nothing I can’t “handle.”
Perhaps it is a combination of all of these factors. (Or not! Just the looking “over the edge” phenomenon!)
I may go to the Pirris Dam again soon to try some of these things out. It bums me out to feel anxious on such a gorgeous route. Oh well. Accepting and being kind to my anxiety, however, may be the best option. It is what it is.
I close with a photo from another post because it has the same riders/motorcycles. Such quality friends one finds on the road! I am so incredibly fortunate to be
RIDING IN COSTA RICA: FEEL THE BEAUTY. KNOW THE LOVE. LIVE THE POWER.
Date of ride: Sunday, May 14, 2023
Song: Tomorrow is a long time.
“If today was not a crooked highway
If tonight was not a crooked trail
If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all”
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