Friday, 30 October 2009

The First Ride

Time flies. It really does.

When there is work to be done, events to plan or a tight deadline, it's always on your back before you know it. Time and it's ability to fly, seems to be even more pronounced when you're dreading the impending event. Well before I begin to sound too much like Stephen Hawking, deliberating the finer points it time perception, I'll get the point.

I'm dreading learning to ride a bike.

In fact, I don't think 'dreading' really covers it. The idea of learning is intimidating after all these years of cycling sobriety. The planning of the training is nerve racking, anything mildly sport related normally results in injury on my part. This is no exaggeration, I broke my thumb and wrist during a mere kick about during lunch time at school and dislocated my knee throwing a bouncy ball around in sixth-form. Some people really aren't cut out for sport, I am definitely one of them...

So as you might imagine, actually grabbing the two-wheeled-titan, after a ten-year hiatus and riding it, is terrifying.

I can honestly say, the walk to my first attempt was long. Despite only being ten minutes away, I was dragging my feet and wanted to put it off, for as long as possible.

I bumped into a friend from work on our walk over, it was a typically awkward, dead-end conversation. Never-the-less I strove to keep it going, to the extent I began to ask about his lacrosse team in great detail, a sport I neither understand or want to understand. Eventually I relinquished my interrogation about his dinner plans, when he insisted he had to leave as he needed sleep.

Solemnly I continued toward my first attempt in ten years, whilst Coach Woodward did wheelies and various other tricks. This did not do much for my confidence, I still struggle to understand how people stay upright, without pedaling on a two wheel bike.

I insisted that I should learn on grass. Despite the recommendation of my teachers Coach Woodward and Coach Ali. My logic was that I am going to fall off, so I want my fall as cushioned as possible.

I was wrong. Peddling on grass is twice as hard.

So I moved onto a near by cricket run. And this was the result:
(N.B Video is quiet, crank up your volume)

That is Coach Woodward's excited voice you can hear in the background. Luckily there was no blood but unfortunately there was no success either.

The problem was that Coach Woodward's bike is a special mountain bike and cannot have stabilisers fitted. Therefore I attempted a technique I like to call the 'Waddle Walk'.

I started by pushing myself along with my legs in order to gain speed and then began to pedal, as getting the initial speed is the hardest part. Coach Woodward said that some learners start with this technique and no pedals, until they can eventually lift their feet up and still balance.

These were the comical results.

As stylish and professional the 'Waddle Walk' looks, it does takes time to get used to pedaling. I either missed the pedals altogether, placed my feet wrongly or spent so long looking down thinking about pedaling, that I ended up on the floor.

What did I learn:

1) Pedaling on grass is hard, especially on wet grass and turning is even harder!
2) People always laugh when you fall off.
3) Watching other people showing off on a bike really doesn't help your confidence.

Next time I'll treat you to more videos of my attempts and introduce you to my bike.


faye said...

Very amusing. But maybe wear a helmet lol. :)

Tom Foster said...

I am really enjoying the blog, it is extremely funny! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

This is too funny for words!

Atif.Ali said...

Yeah, starting on grass probably wasn't the best of ideas considering how much harder it is to pedal. But then again, remembering how often you fell off it was probably needed!