Wednesday, June 18, 2008
When did you learn to ride a bike? I learned when I was 8 and a half. Back then I was still counting halves. I am the youngest and my siblings were all riding bikes. But not me. I was afraid. Afraid I'd fall. Afraid I get lost. Afraid I'd get left behind. And yes, all those things happened after I learned to ride a bike.
My mom agreed to teach me how to ride. I said I was too old for training wheels. So we met in the back yard on the grass and as I pedaled (very difficult in the grass) my mom ran along beside me holding my bike upright. My mom was not runner. This was a BIG DEAL. Then the phone rang and she had to go inside to take the call for her Tupperware business. This happened all the time. Tupperware came first because the customer was paying. Dinner could cook itself. I could learn to ride a stupid bike alone.
In and out of the house I stomped.
I got the icy stare and a few finger snaps in my direction.
I was so pissed off. I decided to get even with her and just go ride that stupid bike ALL BY MYSELF! I didn't need her or ANY ONE ELSE! I threw a tantrum and went out and got on my bike and rode it around the yard twice and then into the driveway.
Oh my god! I was riding my bike!
My mom came outside and she cheered me on and I was so excited to be riding all by myself, I completely forgot to be pissed off.
Then my siblings came out and thought it was pretty cool that at last I could ride a bike and we decided to go for a ride all together. Our house was just inside the city limits. To the North was up a hill and at the end of the road a freeway entrance that didn't have the benefit of any on ramps. Just a crossing of 4 lanes of 70 mile an hour freeway traffic with a stop sign, then TURN THE WHEEL AND HIT THE GAS!
We went South. It was all down hill to the South. About 4 houses away from home, my brother in front leading, my sister behind encouraging, my sister calls out, "CAR!"
My brother shouts back, "Car coming, move over towards the curb."
Car? Where? I don't see a car?
And so I turn my head to see the car approaching very close now behind me and as I do, I turn my entire body... which also turns the handlebars... and the front wheel and I crash. In a heap. In the middle of the road in front of oncoming traffic. (they were very nice and stopped to make sure I was okay. Nothing damaged, just my pride)
My first bike was a super cool stingray with a banana seat and big sissy bar up the back (ironic, no?). It was orange and I loved it. I loved it so much I rode it everywhere and as I grew more confident in my skills I could even dismount while it was still moving pretty fast and hop off, allowing it to crash into fences.
Way back in July of 2007 I mentioned, "I've been thinking about getting a bike, but haven't told anyone for fear of being held to getting one."
Well I've gone and done it.
I just wanted a bike to hop around town on. Nothing extreme. Nothing too pricey. This is a hybrid bike that can go fast(ish) around town and you can take it on trails(ish) as well. It is a Trek 7000. I know nothing about bikes. I completely trusted the sales people. I gave them my wants and my price range. It has shock absorbers. I figure I need something that can handle some bumps and dirty because often the streets of LA are shit. It has 21 gears. 3 big gears and 7 little gears to use with each of the big gears. I've already thrown the chain off once.
Yes. I bought a helmet.
I rode my bike to the gym yesterday, then to the dry cleaner (drop off only), then the shoe repair and since by then my backpack was empty, I stopped at the grocery store to get food for dinner. Sadly I could not buy ice cream for dessert as my groceries had to be limited to what could fit in my pack.
Today I am sore.