Avoiding Crisis

training wheels

with 3 comments

How’s that saying go? You know the one. About riding a bike. About how once you’ve done it, you’ll never forget. Something like, it’s as easy as riding a bike. Or maybe it goes, it’s just like riding a bike. Whatever it is, however it goes, it’s just not true. It’s a big fat lie.

Riding a bike isn’t as easy as riding a bike.

This is especially true if you haven’t done it in about 17 years. Which, I haven’t.

When I was 13, one beautiful spring afternoon, I was riding by light-pink 10-speed Schwinn bicycle home from my best friends house. She lived just around the corner, up the hill. I was going too fast. There was a car. I swerved to miss the car. My bike went in the direction of the car, stopping inches from the front tires. I slid across the street in the opposite direction. I slid the entire way on my knees. It was an accident. A bad accident. It could have been worse.

And then there’s that saying about how if you fall down, you’re supposed to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and continue. Or is it something like, when you fall off a horse you get right back on? Or is it, when you fall off the wagon…. Oh. No. That’s definitely the wrong one. Must be the one about a horse.

In hind sight I probably should have forced myself to ride a bicycle again after my knees heeled. But we never fixed my bike (though my parents held on to it all these years, only recently getting rid of it), I never asked for a new one, and I never had the desire to get back on. So I didn’t. And my parents didn’t push the issue.

I haven’t ridden a bicycle since that accident. And, this is not an exaggeration. Not even a little bit.

I’m terrified. Seriously, I don’t even like riding the stationary bike at the gym.

A friend of mine is leaving Argentina in the next two weeks. She’s moving back to Texas. She’s selling her bike and I’m buying it. It’s a very simple bike. A city touring/commuter type bike. It has only one speed and old-school breaks – you know the ones where you engage by pressing the peddles backwards.

I’m buying the bike so that I can go for bike rides with my daughter. So that I don’t have to walk 20 feet behind her running every so often to catch up and shouting for her to stop before crossing an intersection. I’m going to get back on a bike so that I can prove to her that mommy really does know how to ride a bike. I’m getting back on the bike because that’s what mommies do when their kids say things like, “wow, wouldn’t it be so much fun if we could all go for a bike ride together.”

For whatever the reason, I will get back on a bike and re-learn how to ride it. And I will do it before my 30th birthday. And maybe, if you’re lucky, I’ll post a picture, or maybe even a video, of me riding this bike. It will surely be a momentous occasion.

Now, if only it came with training wheels.


Written by nicolemarie

June 20, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Posted in biographical, life, personal

3 Responses

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  1. I think it’s once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. . .

    I don’t know.

    But, sounds fun – good luck!


    June 20, 2007 at 5:08 pm

  2. Good for you!!!


    June 21, 2007 at 1:04 pm

  3. I just started riding again last year – nothing as tragic as your reason for not riding but due to circumstances it had been over 12 yrs since I’d been near a bike…it all came right back. If you can get the accident out of your head you’ll be fine – good luck!


    June 21, 2007 at 11:19 pm

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