I’m sure you’re familiar with the quote,
“It’s just like riding a bike. You never forget.”
Today, my roommate joined me on my run for day 2 of my half-marathon training plan (that’s a whole other post). We completed the run, and Erin (the resident marathon runner) suggested I bike alongside her while she ran 4 more miles. I figured it was the least I could do because she put up with my slowness, sweatiness, and even scattered whinings.
We arrive back to our apartment, and I remind her that I seriously haven’t ridden a bike in probably 14 years. She reminds me of that age old quote. “It’s riding a bike. You never forget.”
I’ve heard it enough from other sources, so I believe it’s true. She goes into the apartment and begins by handing me the hottest of all helmets (helmets are a foreign concept to me – people in the country never wore them). Okay, not only am I exhausted and rusty, but the emotional scarring has begun by being the 23 year old with a helmet and 8 year old abilities.
I’m confident in my bike riding abilities. I mean, I grew up riding dirt-bikes for crying out loud, and my dad has a Harley. It clearly runs in the family. Erin proceeds to pull out her “bike.” I was expecting a normal handle-barred bike or even a mountain bike. Nope, this was a super ridiculous racing bike. Was she out of her mind? Was she expecting me to be Lance Armstrong??
I argue against this plan for quite some time. I climb onto the bike, and my toes barely skim the surface of the asphalt (which is a horrible in case I need to bail). I’ve never seen handlebars that look like anything other than a “V” or straight line. These are a maze of gadgets and clicky things!
I waddle to the parking lot of our apartment with tons of optimism and a “stylish” helmet. I assume that if I don’t touch any of the gadgets that I’ll be okay with just riding this machine as is.
After three hard peddles, I nearly fall to my death. I try to jump off but remember that I’m really too short for this bike. I have no choice but to continue peddling.
Well, the combination of peddling up the hill, dodging the speed bumps, and being incapable of changing out of gear 497 all led to my demise.
I begin whining, laughing, and nearly lay down this expensive racing bike in front of our unknowing neighbors and the mailman. Erin realizes that I’m a lost cause, laughs, and suggests we return to the apartment.
I have not only embarrassed myself in front of my roommate and neighbors, but now I have to lead the walk of shame back to my apartment with my helmet still on and bike in tow.
There may be some things that you never forget. But there are also some things I never learned. Don’t expect to successfully drive a racing bike when 14 years ago you rocked a pink one with a basket.