It Really is Just Like Riding a Bike

On my birthday I managed to pick up a 21 speed mountain bike for like $50 at a garage sale. I also tried (unsuccessfully) to pick up a cherry red 2009 Yamaha V-Star 650 custom, but that’s another story. I haven’t ridden a bicycle since… sometime in high school. Better than 15 years ago. Frankly, I was a little nervous about getting back on a bike. I know they SAY it’s just like riding a bicycle, you never really forget how to do it, but it had been a long time and while I’m in pretty ok shape (Buff Dad Mookie undoubtedly edges me out at this point, as he should since he actually works for that bod), there’s no comparing the energy, quickness, and resiliency of a teenager to that of a grown adult. However, I try to push myself to do things that terrify me (it’s partly why I rock climb) and I’ve been itching to get on a bike again for a while now. So I bought a bike. I bought a helmet. Because safety, kids. And Sunday, I hopped on and took it for a spin.

I shouldn’t have worried. It really is just like riding a bike.

My driveway has a bit of an incline so getting up on the bike wasn’t a problem at all. Physics does an excellent job of keeping a bike in motion upright so long as your balance isn’t total crap. So I hopped on one petal, pushed off, threw a leg over, and before I hit the end of the driveway I was rolling.

It was a very short lived ride. The bike is in dire need of a tune up. The chain doesn’t like to shift. It skips gears. Skipped right off the crankset even. The chain undoubtedly needs to be cleaned and oiled. The breaks are soft. Bike’s not in bad shape, pretty new looking actually, so I don’t think I’ll have to replace anything, but it does need some maintenance. Which I’m totally willing to do because:

Holy foosball, riding is fun.

The 5 minutes or so I spent riding around realizing 1. that the bike needed a lot of tuning and 2. that I don’t have nearly enough cardio in my life were an utter blast. Yeah. Going uphill still sucks. Going downhill can result in terrifying speed if your control is dodgy. It’ll take some time for me to get “good” at cycling again, but it’ll be worth every last second invested.

Now, I just need to get that “M” on my license so I can REALLY confuse people by what I mean when I say “I’m gonna go ride by bike.”

About Garth

Born in Known Space, raised by the likes of Lazarus Long, Dr. Susan Calvin, and Lt. Miles Vorkosigan, Garth Graham has only ever partially shared the same reality as most of us. Fascinated by what might be and what isn't, rather than weighed down by the drama of what is, he has forged a tenuous bridge made of ink and paper between our world and some strange unknowable scape where improbable dreams are born. Perhaps it has driven him a little mad. Yet such madness has born fine delectable fruit for our eye organs. His previous works include the webcomics Comedity and Finder's Keepers. In his spare time Garth likes to laugh maniacally about the abstract and fictional concept of “spare time” and does his level best to refute entropy.