9.03.2014

You Never Forget How

I vaguely recall my first big girl bike.  It was was blue with giant handle bars and a black banana seat with a little handle on the back.  The handle that your dad holds onto as he's sending you off on your first ride without training wheels while yelling at you to go straight.  I remember really liking that bike.  I did not however like my 2nd bike.   After outgrowing the first one and they got me this purple and black bike that I thought was ugly.  I remember being embarrassed to ride it because it wasn't girly at all and didn't have the curled handles like the ones the other girls were getting.  I wanted a ten speed.  This was not a ten speed.  My parents got me what they could afford and I eventually came to love that bike just like I loved my witch costume after it got stolen.  This is a bit of a tangent but since we're going all nostalgic here I'm throwing it in.  In elementary school my mom insisted on hand making my witch costume for Halloween and I was so embarrassed.  I wanted a store bought one like the other kids were going to have but it was cheaper to buy material.  Turns out I loved my witch costume even more then all the other ones and I guess someone else loved it too.  At the end of the day when we went to grab our paper grocery bags where our costumes were stashed mine was gone and I went home with some other kid's generic store bought one and cried because in the end I liked the one my mom made so much better.

It's just one example of how kids are so often swayed and brainwashed by whatever the masses are doing.  So afraid of standing out or being different because kids are mean and nobody likes being teased.  I'm so glad that we didn't have social media back then.  I was never a popular kid or a cute teen and I can only imagine what a beating social media would have given my already fragile self esteem.  Getting older sucks sometimes but you couldn't pay me enough to go back to being an adolescent and if I could go back and tell my 12 year old self anything it would be to get over it because half the crap you are so worried about is truly meaningless.  And mom, sorry for being such an ungrateful child.

I'm rambling.  Back to bikes.  My parents bought me my 3rd bike while I was in college and I rarely rode it.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess I just wasn't interested at the time.  When we finally got a garage of our own I picked it up and brought it home but we probably should have taken the bike straight to the dumpster.  I feel really bad for having never rode it but now that I want to again the thing is totally broke down.  It weighs a ton.  It's super old.  The gears are messed up, there are cobwebs hanging off of it and the tires are flat.  I think it's beyond saving.
Um.  I'm not so sure about this.
MJ has a fancy road bike and mountain bike with clip in pedals which sounds positively terrifying to me.  I still have the jalopy and it had been at least 10 years since I last rode a bike.  Probably longer, so when he suggested bike riding over the weekend I was nervous because I wasn't sure if I'd remember how.  I was worried I'd crash or run over an innocent pedestrian and I totally forget how to brake.  "How do I stop?" I asked MJ frantically as we started to take off.  My last bike had handbrakes and this blue beach cruiser had nothing but handle bars.  I'm sure I did, but I don't actually remember having to back petal to break.  
I was really scared when we first took off but after 30 minutes or so I was able to release my death grip on the handle bars and had a really great time.  Meanwhile MJ can take his phone out of his pocket, take a picture and put it back in all without crashing.  The wind in my hair felt amazing and the view wasn't half bad.  It took us about 1 hour to go 9 miles and by the end of the day we'd gone almost 13 miles.  It's amazing how fast and far you can get on a bike just poking along at 6 mph. 

We took the ferry to Coronado Island and rode to Burger Lounge for food.  This part was pretty nerve racking because I've never rode in actual traffic before.  We made a left hand turn in the street with the green traffic arrow.  I was scared to follow MJ but even  more scared not to.  He is no stranger to 40 mph speeds in the street, but not me.  As a driver I HATE being near bike riders and as a wife it freaks me out that my husband rides so fast in the streets.  I think we maxed out at 10 mph the whole time and being so close to cars with so little room to navigate between them started stressing me out so I yelled ahead to go on the sidewalk.  The sidewalk is safe.  With our food in MJ's basket we rode back to the water and sat in the grass to eat before taking the ferry ride back to the harbor.  It takes 15 minutes each way.  We turned in our bikes and got ice cream.  Then for some reason I really wanted a beer and drinking it while looking out at the bay was the most refreshing thing ever.
Bike riding is so much fun and I love doing touristy type things in my own city.  I really want my own bike now so I'm trying to decide between a Beach Cruiser (with hand brakes) or a Townie.  The backpedal breaking was okay but I think I prefer hand brakes.  It seems easier.  Either way, it's going to be Pink with a cute wicker basket in the front and a bell.  MJ wants one too because apparently he really enjoyed not having to shift gears and riding without his feet attached to the pedals.  I still don't know how anybody does that.  It would basically be timber for me in about 2 seconds.   

Well, I guess it's true when they say it's like riding a bike.  You never forget how.

17 comments :

Lauren said...

I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was 12 (yikes, I know) and I never got very good at it. I tried it again a few years ago and while I can do, it, I can't steer very well. I want to like it so badly because it looks fun but I would totally fall on a busy street and embarrass myself (and probably cause a wreck!). All of that to say that your day sounds amazing and I hope you have more biking fun in your future!

Susannah said...

We went bike riding at Central Park while on vacation and I was so afraid I was going to crash. I guess it really is something you don't forget because I didn't!

Law_Fal said...

I haven't owned a bike in so many years but I would definitely get one for the fall and use it to exercise once it cools down out here!

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

For the past three weeks, I've been riding my bike to work every day. I still suck at riding and I ride on the sidewalk bc I'm terrified of getting hit by a car, but I have REALLY enjoyed it. It's also a lovely bonus that I get paid $5.80 a day to ride (through work) and I now only have to fill up once every two weeks, so I save on gas too. PLUS the exercise and fresh air?!

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

p.s. I'm sad about your witch costume

cashanamusings said...

Sounds like so much fun. I will not even mention how long it has been since I have been on a bike...LOL!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I rode a bike for the first time in years when I was at the Jersey Shore over the 4th. It was so much fun and now I can't wait to go again- looks like you had the same experience!

Robin Hardeman said...

Nice way to have fun in your own city. I love to ride bikes and the pink one with a basket sounds super cute!
http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

Nerline Germain said...

I keep thinking that I remember because of the saying, but I would have to try and see. It's been years since I have been on a bike. I trust you, but I just need to test it.

hya21 said...

I know this post is about bikes and bike riding, but I really liked hearing what you would say to your younger self. Even though my son is real eager to grow up and be an adult, I have to remind him to take his time. I wonder whether he'll look back and (like you) be happy that it's over, or like me, look back on those times with (mostly) nostalgia.

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Bike riding is a little scary when you fist get back at it, but it sounds like you had an awesome day!

Tricia Coniglio said...

So funny! My last bike had hand brakes as well but the beach cruisers are pushing backward on the pedals. We rode beach cruisers on the boardwalk last summer and it definitely took a little getting used to braking like that. I was worried of the same thing - that I was going to crash into someone.

Whitney Cypert said...

Garrett is always asking to ride bikes together and very rarely do I actually say yes. Truth be told, I'm not much of a bike rider. It makes my butt hurt, did your butt hurt after riding for so long? Maybe I just need a new seat. Anyways, I'm proud of you for riding and especially in the traffic! I would be scared too. Drinking a beer and looking out onto the bay sounds wonderful. Minus the beer. : )

Dani @ OKDani.com said...

From the first line of this you took me back to my first big girl bike!!! I don't know why I have biking anxiety now as an adult when I was so fearless and almost getting sideswiped when I was a kid. ::shrug:: I think you've inspired me missy!! I'm gunna hop on a bike real soon.

Unrelated, your skin always looks so perfect. #notjealous #okmaybealittle :)

Kristin Aldridge said...

What a fun day! I felt similarly about not knowing if I would remember how to ride when I went on a bike ride during my honeymoon (I even fell once) but eventually it all comes back to you :)

Jenny said...

I wish I could bike ride. I mean I know how to ride a bike but I could never get comfortable on one. Even when I was in fabulous shape they hurt my butt. I even got one of those gel seats but it didn't help. And I am petrified to ride on actual roads with real traffic. Wish it was different because it looks like so much fun if you have the booty for it. Haha..

Mrs. K said...

I haven't owned a bike in a while--the last time was in college, I think--over 6 years ago. I use to ride to school most days--those were the days. Your witch costume story remind me of my princess costume story from middle school. I'm cracking up thinking about it actually--basically, my family refused to buy me a costume and I really wanted to go to the dance so I basically wore a dress that I wore to a wedding (no crown or anything) and called myself a princess. So embarrassing but it got me in the dance. Actually...I can't believe I did that. LMBO.

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