Conquering The Two-Wheeled Monster

Posted: May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

So this week, on vacation, I challenged myself to learn to ride the bicycle.

Yes, I can’t ride a bicycle. Laugh it up, bitch.

I think I tried it out when I was about 8, but I fell off. It was brutal. Naturally I shunned the contraption forever, and rode my tricycle around instead.. till that got too weird, socially.

Now I wish to face my nemesis again. Besides the obvious glory in conquering the two-wheeled creature, there’s also that fun feeling of flying down my lane on the bike with the wind in my face! Whee!

At first, I advertised for a tutor for bicycle-riding. The tutor would have to be friendly and patient and kind and stuff, because being on a bicycle is pressure enough without having a mean coach blowing a whistle in my face and yelling at me for failing. So after lots of offers from friends to teach me (most of whom just want to laugh when I fall and secretly YouTube the entire fiasco), I finally picked my cousin who I know won’t be mean. Before he starts lessons down my lane next week, I thought I’d try it out by myself in my garden.

The aftermath of a violent struggle between me and the bicycle

Firstly I consulted  my father on technique. Dad, what do I do when the bike tilts to the right – I guess I should tilt my body to the left to balance it out? I asked him. And he said, No, nothing like that, it’s all about momentum, you just have to not look at the wheel and keep peddling and gain speed. 

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
I tried this, by the way, the not looking at the wheel and randomly peddling thing, and I almost died. DIED.
i.e. got my pajamas stuck in the pedals.

So far my quick cat-like reflexes have kept me from falling though. But this riding a bicycle thing is really difficult, man. How are you supposed to balance this thing?! There’s like zero structural stability, it’s practically like riding a unicycle. I googled ‘how to ride a bicycle’ and everyone’s being so VAGUE about it. Keep your back straight. Increase speed. Keep your balance. No shit, Sherlock.

Today I couldn’t ride it for more than about four seconds, and it ended with the front of the bicycle crazily careening into the wall on my right, but I didn’t fall off either. I think I’m making progress. I did this about 10 times in the concrete part of the garden, within a small 25 foot long space, trying to gain balance. I get it, the idea of maneuvering your body and the bike to be perpendicular to the ground, just that I don’t have any freaking idea how. After lots of loud swearing and raging against the bicycle and its inability to DRIVE IN A STRAIGHT LINE FFS – I kicked it, and vowed to return for another round the following day. Then I went inside and played this Ludacris song and danced around making gang signs; to keep the morale up, you see.

Honestly, wouldn’t it be way easier if we all rode giant tricycles instead? They’re practically trishaws, except with just one seat. I think such an invention would greatly contribute to reducing the death toll in this country.

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Comments
  1. Chavie says:

    Just peddle, dude, and hold the handlebars in the forward position. You won’t fall off. As long as you don’t hit a speedbump, that is. Those things are deadly. 😛

  2. Angel says:

    As a non-rider I totally support the tricycle initiative!

  3. I’m guessing your problem is balance… In which case, you should do what you’ve mentioned. If your bike is tilting to the right, shift your body weight to the left. Don’t over think it.

  4. Jack Point says:

    What??? There are adults who can’t ride bicycles? What is the world coming to?

    Reminds me a bit of Calvin’s encounters with his bicycle…..a few of them are here 😉

    http://www.jimlangley.net/spin/calvinhobbesunbalanced.htm

    http://www.dirtgirldiary.com/2010/03/calvin-hobbes-documentary.html

    http://www.lovine.com/hobbes/comics/bike.html

    A bit of advice here

    http://www.almightydad.com/parenting/learning-to-ride-a-bike

    Its not as difficult as it looks, really.

  5. Frank Booth says:

    @Jack Point, LOL!

    Also ane makuluwo – http://bit.ly/OMcRA4 😛

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