We’ve all heard that saying “It’s as easy as riding a bike,” everyone says it about everything. Well whoever came up with that saying is WRONG! If anyone uses that in a sentence, those of us who have relearned how to ride a bike, should go up and yell “WRONG!” in that persons face. Relearning how to ride a bike is not easy, not simple, and not something that I care to do again. Now that I know how to ride a bike again, well still getting the hang of it, I plan on keeping at it and really riding it almost everyday. Learning again would just be a pain.
I wanted to ride my bike again because I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Riding your bike is great cardio and plus it uses muscles that a lot of exercises don’t, and personally those muscles need a lot of workouts from me.
I went home to visit my parents and while I was there I asked my dad to go and get my bike out of our shed so I could bring it home with me. He sat it out on the back patio and told me to try it. I got on and I was SO wobbly. I asked him to hold on to the seat while I peddled, like he did when he was teaching me to ride with no training wheels. My dad didn’t go for that idea and just watched me as I tried to ride it up and down the sidewalk next to our house.
At first I just kind of scooted up and down the sidewalk with my feet on the ground.
Then I pushed off with one foot and put both feet on the peddles and tried to keep it going without falling over.
Next I tried to break…which was extremely scary the first time. My bike didn’t slow down like a car, and I quickly put my feet on the ground to catch myself before I fell over because I didn’t feel like I would stop before reaching the sidewalk in front of the house and I didn’t want people to watch me riding (well trying to ride) my bike.
After that little experience I was done for the evening and I asked my dad to help put the bike in my car so I could take it home with me. The bike was a tight squeeze but we got it in.
The first stop we made was to the bike store so my bike could get new tubes and tires, the old ones were dry rotted. This took about a week. This gave me a week to get my courage back up to ride it again, this time in front of Bebes and my house.
Here is the thing about our house…I think the neighbors think I am weird. I don’t get out of the house much other then to go to work or leave to go to a friends house or home to my parents. I don’t like being outside usually, there are bugs outside and dirt which means there are germs! I don’t like germs and bugs and dirt, so the easiest solution to not dealing with them is staying inside as much as possible. From this I am really pale, like Twilight Books vampire pale.
(I promise I’m not a vampire, but if I was this is what I would look like)
So my neighbors rarely see me and when they do I wave (if I notice them) and hurry off, not much time to talk. When I am outside, to be outside, I am usually talking to Bella. So I am that crazy women on the street who talks to her dog. So riding a bike, and not riding it well, and possibly injuring myself on said bike in front of these neighbors who probably already think I am weird, not at the top of my priority list.
I had a week to talk myself into it. I got the bike the next Tuesday and decided that day was as good as any other and took off. That’s when I realized the other issue with the house, it’s built on a hill on both sides. Being a beginner biker, again, it is probably not a good idea to ride the bike up and down hills the second time around. The only place I could ride the bike without speeding down a hill was directly in front of our house. So I did that for ten minutes in 99 degree weather, started to sweat, which I also don’t like, and decided to call it a day. Oh, what fun my neighbors probably had that day. “Crazy dog lady is trying to ride a bike, putting feet down every few feet, screaming when she goes to fast, and she can’t even turn on the bike without stopping completely, while almost falling over, and turning the bike around with her arms, quick take a video and put it on youtube!” – probably what neighbors were saying to each other.
The next day I decided I wasn’t going to ride my bike again, some teenage kids across the street were outside and that’s all I needed to build my confidence of riding a bike without really knowing how to ride a bike. So I waited to see if they would go inside, they didn’t.
Well I then thought of all the hard work I had put in yesterday, and since they probably already think I am crazy, I might as well try it again. So I got the bike out, while Bebe was watering our plants, and rode up and down the little area in front of our house. Bebe asked me if I was going to take the hill, and I told him he must be joking. The kids next door watched the whole time and it started bothering me. What if I fell, what if I flew over my handle bars and hit a tree (no helmet), what if I actually make a turn without stopping the bike and get excited and then fall over due to not being balanced…they would laugh.
So I decided to take the bike to the school near by, where no one was at, and ride it in the parking lot. I did this for awhile and really got the hang of it. I forgot how exhilarating it was to feel the wind in my hair and how peaceful the sound of the wheels were while riding. I felt alive and free.
I enjoyed this for awhile and then decided to go home. I decided to bike home…oh yes over the gravel in the entry way to the school, through a stop sign on a road, and up a slight hill to our house. I had ridden for a least 10 minutes at the park, I felt confident and I had this. Everything was going well, until I felt a piece of my hair move up my cheek and close to my eye. It was bugging me so I reached my hand up to flick it away and I lost my balance violently going to one side. I slammed my feet on the ground, and although I didn’t fall off the bike or injure myself I was pretty torn up about it. How could a little piece of hair get me down like that? What if people saw? What if I would have fallen over like I was about too?
Once I got up the slight hill, I saw the two kids that were out earlier watching me ride. Thinking they were thinking all sorts of odd things about me I was kind of confused when I saw what they were doing. These two teenage high school aged kids were outside riding their bikes up and down the road having fun and laughing with each other.
Had I inspired them to get out and be healthy and enjoy the day with their bikes?
I don’t know why they were riding their bikes, but it made me feel good. I rode my bike home (both hands on the bike – hair or no hair I wasn’t going to fall in front of those kids) and put it away.
I plan on riding again tonight; we will see how that goes. I will still probably be wobbly and, though I haven’t fallen yet, I might fall. But I have gotten this far and I really am enjoying it. My muscles in my legs are being worked like they haven’t been since I stopped riding my bike in 8th grade. My hands have some calluses being built up from holding the handles bars, probably too tight. My pants have grease on them from the fresh grease the shop put on it. How can I put all of this to waste just because I might look weird/crazy. I am going to learn to completely ride my bike and be an expert in it again.
Bebe and I are planning a bike ride sometime in the future. I am hoping that we will both be better riders then and will be able to fully enjoy our time on the bikes. For now though I am going to just pray I don’t fall off, or that a chain doesn’t break…I don’t like the grease.