Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Bike Riding 101

Hello again and welcome once more blogosphere! Today, I can tell you now, was a glorious day. In a mere hour and a half, I was able to obtain a vital life skill about 90% of you have had in your arsenal for years. Some may be ashamed, but not I. Today, it was my turn. You may recall if you've ever hopped on to Teenage Fanatic previously that in my celebratory 100th blog post, I mentioned that I had not yet learnt how to ride a bike. Well my friends, today, the fact that has defined me for so many years is no longer applicable to me. Because yes, at 16 years of age, I finally learnt how to ride a bike!

Now come on, don't laugh. Better late than never, right? Yes, it may be a little ridiculous, but I am actually super proud of myself. It was just one of those skills I'd written off and never planned on attempting, yet at the insistence of my friends (which believe it or not, I've still managed to keep after the turmoils of today), I feel like a brand new person.

It wasn't all smooth sailing though. Things got off to a pretty rocky start when I realised the activities of today included a trifecta of all things awful - the outdoors, exercise, and pants. I kid you not, that was before I'd even left the house. Things went from bad to worse when I arrived at the bike track, and was forced to experience the ups and downs (both literal and figurative) of the art of bike riding. I seriously don't know how my friends had the patience, because after the first 15 minutes, I was already over it. Because seriously, did I mention I had to be in nature?

The odds were against me - I was inexperienced, and being made fun of by an 8 year old boy. However, I persevered with the help of the Glee Cast's 'Don't Stop Believin' blasting from my internal phone speaker. The New Directions were on my side, so how could I possibly give up so quickly? I was inspired once again, however this newfound vigour didn't last long, and I was soon requesting training wheels. But once more, I had a supporter in my corner, as the employee uttered the golden words 'you have potential', and all it took was a new, more easily manoeuvrable bike to get me back on the horse (you know, if that horse was a bike). 

As the remainder of my friends trickled in, it was time for me to face the music. We were going to be tackling the actual bike track rather than the kids one I'd been circling around for 90 minutes. It was time to prove myself, and believe it or not, after several attempts, I managed to get the hang of it. And now, as I'm writing this, I am proud to say that I am able to ride a bike with (a tiny bit of) confidence. I can stop, I can turn, and I can even use the breaks properly! Plus, in the process, I managed not to injure anyone or put the lives of pedestrians in danger. I think that's a solid achievement. 

Now, I can't help feeling a little smug, I'm not gonna lie. I really wish I could find that 8 year old tormentor and just bike ride through his living room all high and mighty, although I have a strong feeling that may be highly illegal, so I think I'll just stick to blogging my feelings for now. Will I ever bike ride again? Probably not. Ever. But hey, at least I can say I've done it. 

I managed to get out of it fairly unscathed. Sure, I have a few battle scars, but I'm treating them as my badges of honour. Now, I'm just suffering from a bit of leg pain, am covered in grease (like Danny Zuko!) and am slightly sunburnt, but hey, no pain no gain right? For the remainder of my holidays, I plan to spend a lot of quality time indoors. Although I managed to truly conquer a new skill, I'm fine with not doing that ever again (or at least for the next few years). I think I'll just stick to sitting at home and listening to my musical theatre playlist for the next 2 weeks and leave the bike riding to the professionals. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

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