As Easy As Riding A Bike (#74)

As a human, I think that I have slightly more than the average number of pet peeves. First and foremost, watching TV in the dark, I can’t stand it. Tied for second are people who crack their bones too much and the sound windshield wipers make when there’s not enough rain. Honestly, the list could go on and on…but pretty high up there is that stupid little phrase “its as easy as riding a bike.”

As someone who has been unable to ride a bike for 23 years, I feel like this phrase is kinda my arch nemesis. First of all, whoever started saying it is stupid because there are a million things that are easier than balancing on two thin wheels and propelling yourself forward. Breathing, walking, eating a whole box of Cheez-Itz. Lots of things. Once I asked someone why they were buying their three-year-old a bike because it seemed kinda young and their exact response was “you have to teach them before they know to be afraid of it.” Um, WHAT?! I feel like as a species if it’s in our insticnt to be afraid of something we should probably listen to that idk not a scientist or anything, but just a thought.

It’s also very clear to me that riding a bike is not as easy as everyone says it is, because I have tried multiple times to learn. When I was a kid, Pops dutifully took me out to vacated parking lots near by to try and coax me into it. I was cool with it until the training wheels came off, and after that something just never clicked. Later in middle school a few of my friends and their embarassinhly young little siblings decided to try and teach me. It was going alright for awhile until I took a turn to wide, hit a car, flipped off the bike onto the hood, and set the alarm off. The last time I tried was Senior year of high school. My friend Chaney had taught hundreds of kids how to swim, so we figured she would be a good candidate to teach me after our friend Trish failed the summer before. Within thiry minutes, Chaney was alternating between being supremely frustrated and cracking up at how bad I was.

Not being able to ride a bike is one of those things that comes up more than you may think. At least every couples weeks or so it comes up in conversation and everything gasps in shock as if I just revealed I was born on Neptune. Once when I was trying to learn how to swim (another pathetic post for a different time) my instructor, aka Chaney again, goes “just kick your legs like you’re riding a bike. Mmmkay, sure Chain I’ll get right on that. During our first meeting for my service trip in South Africa, my advisor told a story about how they had gone on a bike tour the year before, and the slowest bike rider was at risk of getting attacked my monkeys, so that was terrifying. Even this morning, on our nice family trip to OCMD, I was at risk of being left behind alone because the whole crew was going on a bike ride. Luckily, Pops volunteered to rent a tandem bike with me, which for some reason I am able to ride. i’m sure we looked completely ridiculous but at least I was able to participate.

Alright folks…I feel as though I have made a decently compelling argument about why riding a bike is anything but easy, and so I hope that the next time you are tempted to use that assanine phrase you stop and consider this post before you do. And on that note, it’s time for me to go take a bath because my legs are pretty sore from that long riide today.

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