Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thing Eight: Just Like Riding...

So let me start by saying that I didn't mean to skip posting yesterday, but I spilled boiling water on my foot, and it got a huge burn/blister, and I had to spend basically the whole day dealing with that.

With that in mind: yeah, I'm REALLY clumsy. Like...really, really clumsy. Which I know I talked about in the headstand post, but, seriously, guys, I'm almost thirty. I should not cripple myself making pasta.

And the interesting thing about it, is that people often don't quite believe me. Partially because it's not like I'm with them when I do things like spill boiling water on my foot, but also because, seriously, they think, how clumsy can you possibly be?

This clumsy: I cannot ride a bicycle.

You know that saying, "It's just like riding a bike"? I have no idea what that means. I mean, I get what it's SUPPOSED to mean, which is that once you learn how to do something, you always know how to do it, even if a lot of time has passed?

But I didn't ever REALLY learn how to ride a bike. I mean, sure, when I was six or seven I did the thing where your dad runs behind you and then lets go (although my dad did that with me on a hill, because he is insane), but I never really mastered it.

And then, one day, I was riding my little training-wheeled bike along the sidewalk, and I lost control, and I hit an overflow outspout for the storm drain. You know, those little metal things that poke up out of the devil's strip, between the sidewalk and the street, and when it rains really heavily, sometimes the water shoots up out of it? Yeah, I hit that with my front wheel.

The crash was...epic. I broke a couple of ribs, I had a handlebar-shaped bruise on my chest for LITERALLY six months, and I never got on a bike again.

Until 2007. When, as an adult who had not ridden a bike in WELL OVER fifteen years, I went to Monet's house and garden at Giverny with some friends. And we decided it was a charming idea to rent bikes at the train station and bike the rest of the way to the house.


Yeah, I ended up walking my bike there, with an awesome scratch all down one shin. I had to get a taxi to take me AND the bike back to the station. It was wretched.

But, seriously, it's not okay to not know how to do this, right? I mean, I'm never going to start using a bike as my main form of transportation (I get weirdly enraged at city bicyclists, because I think most of them flagrantly disregard the rules of the road, but also I am terrified of the idea of being on a bike near a bunch of cars), but I should be able to do it if I have to, right? Like, if I ever got on The Amazing Race, I wouldn't want my team to lose because I can't ride a bicycle, and you KNOW there is always a bike-riding challenge. And what if I have a kid of my own one day, and it needs to learn how to ride? So this year, it's happening: I am going to learn how to competently ride a bicycle for at least a mile.

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