|(Photo Cred to Suuuz!)|
Rewind to my childhood. The first time I was allowed to ride my bike by myself to my friend's house on the next street over was a BIG deal. Naturally, I wore my denim overalls, smilie face tshirt, Adidas bucket hat, and Platform Sketchers to commemorate the occassion. Did I mention that I was really cool in the 4th grade? The Spice Girls were trendsetters back then, so when I say Platform Sketchers, I mean Sketcher "tennis shoes" lifted off the ground by a 2 inch rubber sole and elevated even more by some plastic, transparent bubbles. To top it off, these shoes had thick, clumsy shoe laces. All around a bad call. I started riding my bike, but by the time I got to the end of our street, the shoelaces on my clunkers had come untied and were wrapped around the pedals, imprisoning my feet. I was no longer able to pedal and I simply collapsed, bike and all. Game. Over. Needless to say, I never made it to my friend's house. I was just hoping that none of my neighbors were peeking out from behind their blinds.
But this didn't deter me. A couple months later, I was waiting outside of my house for neighbor to come over, because we were going to go *gasp* bike-riding. You would think that I would have developed some sort of phobia by this point or have been classically conditioned to scream/run and take cover at the sign of any bike near me. But no no, not me. My neighbor showed up on his bike, swerving and pretending that he was going to hit me if I didn't get out of the way. Because he was playing around I just laughed and stood there. The next thing I knew, I woke up face-down on the ground, my face hugging the hot asphalt. My hands, elbows, sides, and knees were dripping blood and I crawled to my front door, only slightly defeated and not ready to give up on biking.
In High School, one of my friends, Patrick, and I, decided to go biking down the Blue Ridge Parkway. I didn't own a bike at the time, but he assured me that it was no problem and that he would bring his old bike. He failed to mention that it was his old bike circa 1995. Now, I'm short, but this bike was made for elementary-school Desire'. But I was in no position to be picky. So I climbed onto The Raptor (a glorious name, I might add) and took off. The first part of the route was downhill and I didn't even have to pedal. This is a breeze. I could get used to this, I thought. Then we turned around to pedal back and my tune quickly changed. The fact that I was cruising on a child's bike became painfully evident (literally). I was hunched over the handlebars, and with each pedal I kneed myself in the boobs. Patrick lapped me twice before coming back to check on me, pouring sweat and kneeing my boobs, trying to prove that I could make it. There was no way. I finally gave up and started walking, which ended up being a much faster method of travel.
A few months later, I was ready to give biking another go. I went to my friend, Kristen's, house because she had an extra bike to lend to me. When I got there, I immediately noticed that her extra bike was adult-size. Step 1. I thought we were ready to take off, but then Kristen informed me that my tires were low and she needed to put more air in them. They looked fine to me, but what do I know about bikes? So I let her do her thing. Kristen proceeded to deflate both of the tires on my bike before coming to the realization that she had no idea how to work the air pump. "Screw biking. Wanna go inside and eat donuts instead?" I couldn't argue with that.
Fast forward to last month. My little sister bought me a bike for Christmas and had it shipped to my apartment. However, when I opened the box I discovered that the bike was in PIECES. I couldn't believe that they had shipped me a bunch of bike parts! I know NOTHING about assembling bikes, and I decided that it wasn't safe to put all of my weight on something that I had put together. So I let the box sit in the corner of my living room until a couple awesome friends put it together for me. Kristen came to visit this weekend and brought her bike with her in anticipation of a leisurely ride during the short-lived warm weather.
"Bike ride?" She asked.
"Hmmm my tires need air." I replied.
"Wanna go eat instead?"
Maybe biking isn't for me.