Diary of a Whining Forty-Something Learning to Cycle. Vol. 1

Yes, at the age of forty-one I have never riden a bike. Funny? Nope. How pathetic, actually! I know.

It would be easiest just to put the blame on my parents, for never teaching me. They never rode bicycles themselves, though, so the thought naturally never occured to them. I sarcastically criticised by dad about it some time ago. His response was amazingly calm and, well, soundly logical: we lived in a big city, in a very busy boulevard, so biking has never been on the agenda. And that was that. Why even bother.

At least I have duly cleared my parental consciousness, as we did teach our son this important life skill. At least he won’t be taken the mickey of, so my deed is done.

Many years ago my other half did try to teach me. Just the one time. As I was ever so quick to give up. Contrary to what people think of me, I do actually give up easily. Far too easily, if you’re asking me. But this has always been my thing: when facing something new, get scared, cry my eyes out, nearly give up. Oh the drama! And then get myself together… and do it.

Thing is, I never really felt I’d been missing out on something by not being able to ride the bloody thing. Until my second kid started to grow up. It will soon be time to teach her how to bike… and I’ll become the outsider in my own family. The prospects of quality time out with the kids look a bit blurry now, don’t they. Yes, I do take them places on foot and by car, but once they can both ride their bikes, they will be out with daddy… and mummy will be left on her own to get on with the chores.

Hm. Don’t like the sound of that.

It takes more than this to motivate me, though. Like realising that this exercise does actually make my hurting knees feel better. So here I am, pedalling like mad at the gym. Perhaps it won’t actually be that bad to do this for real. Plus, everyone else can do it. But me. Am I the dumbest person ever, or what. Maybe it’s time to get motivated and give it try. Won’t kill me. Although… not too sure about that.

Learning practical skills doesn’t come easily to me. Hell no. You know how I learnt to drive? You don’t really want to know. Honestly. All I’ll say is that one car was taken to the scrap yard during the process. And I was left with a huge ugly scar for life, including a horrible skin graft, to remind me how I learnt this skill.

Now it feels like that’s one of the best things I’ve ever taken up, as without a car my life would be impossible. Or at least very difficult.

So maybe it’s time to put my mind to it. And fucking learn to ride a bike!

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