I learned to ride a bike when I was eleven.
We lived in Bronxville, New York. Santa brought me a burgundy Ross bike for Christmas. My first real bike, and while I was excited about the idea of being a bike rider, the actual process eluded me. I would sit and stare at my bike while thoughts of “how” and “when” and “what” rolled through my little mind.
There are several times in life when the unknown is exciting and yet overwhelming at the same time. When the desire to “be” something is so powerful we are willing to risk the blindfolded shakiness of trying. Hoping we live up the the idea we conjure up in our mind before we actually become the “doer” of the dream. New, unknown, is never easy, but I think it is innate in all of us to reach, at least to some degree.
After a couple of weeks of staring at the bike and playing with the bell, my mom helped me down the stairs of our apartment and we went out into the street. I had no way of knowing what it would feel like to balance, get from one foot on the ground to both feet moving in even circles, stay to the side of passing cars, control my speed down the hill, or even how the skin on my hands would give and tear when the leg of my jeans got caught in the pedal and I came crashing down.
No point of reference and no idea that I would never be the cool, legs up on the handle bars, turning my Ray Banned eyes to the blue sky, while sipping a juice box and cruising through my neighborhood, kid.
I eventually became an apprehensive, overly careful, bike rider. Today it’s not my favorite thing to do unless I’m at a gym and the bike is attached to the floor. I never lived up to what I thought I would be in my mind sitting looking at my new bike on Christmas morning.
Not even close.
But, I learned to ride a bike, became a bike rider. I suppose that’s better than a bike watcher.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Enough Sleep.