This last Tuesday, with a little assistance from our buddy Ann, Katie and I got bikes (as seen on K’s blog). And let me tell you I got the best Huffy bike that $80 can buy (and I say that with both sarcasm and honesty). I’m not expecting too much from this bike. I just wanted to get something simple to roll around on and get a little exercise.
I’ve never been very good on a bike. I didn’t learn to ride one until I was probably 10 years old or something like that, I was never that good on it, and I got my driver’s license when I turned 15. Goodbye bicycle, hello cruisin’ with Homeskillet and Billy. So bike riding was never that big a deal with me.
They say you never forget how to ride a bike, right? Well, for years it seemed that I was the exception to this rule. Since childhood, anytime I would attempt to ride a bike I could barely stay upright, falling over and barely able to roll forward. One terrible instance in Cape May involved me struggling along until I just slammed into the side of a parked minivan. Sad but True. So it became accepted wisdom that “Chris can’t ride a bike.” Which would make sense, because
a) It involves balance.
b) It involves physical exertion.
However, the last few weeks have revealed something quite interesting: During a visit from Ann W. and her new roommate Christina, who had ridden their bikes over to our place, I jumped on one of their bikes and lo and behold, I actually could ride a bike. Evidently, I had only been riding bikes with thin little tires, but on a simple bike with two-inch wide tires, I was OK. It was much like when everyone assumed my sister Erica was a terrible driver until we realized she just had a really shitty car. VINDICATION!
So now to the wuss part. We rode the other day and it was fun, but we rode again this morning and HOLY CRAP RIDING A BIKE IS HARD. I mean, I had to walk the bike up a hill that had, MAYBE, a 5-degree incline! Terrible. I was sweating and panting and wobbling and struggling to keep up. I assumed that I always had muscles in my legs, but I may have been mistaken, evidently. I know/hope it will get easier as I ride more, but I just hope it doesn’t take long until I am no longer stumbling in the front door and scrambling for my inhaler after 30 minutes of light riding. Oi!