Friday, October 5, 2007

it's like riding a bike...

The Mr. & i have recently started riding our bikes in a nearby park. it's the perfect place for us (read: me) to ride. there is a lovely lake, nice wide paths, just a few hills (which i'm getting better at... and truthfully, they're pretty small. except for me!). one of the best parts about it happens after one of the hills. which is probably like a 5 on a scale to 10. once you go on top, you cross the road and go downhill so much! it's a blast. The Mr. clocked it, and we go like 18 miles an hour. exhilarating!

we have started a weekend tradition of taking lunch with us and having a picnic in between the laps.

the weather has been most cooperative, and it's something new and fun we're doing together. and each weekend, i curse myself for not ever having done this sooner...

...*flashback* ... The Mr.'s wonderful parents bought me my bike for my birthday a few years ago. we were totally psyched about it, and immediately bought a bike carrier and took it to a different park with skinny paths, lots of people, and a few hills (that lacked payoff). that was a one and only time.

our n'hood also has quite a few hills i am just not quite ready for.

add all that to the fact that i just have lots of trouble learning how to drive. it was trouble in a car. and it's definitely the same for a bike.

the last bike i had ever ridden was my pink flower-coated-banana-seat bike that has one gear and to brake, you pedal backwards.

this bike? it's awesome! AWESOME! and it comes with lots of gears. like a million. back in the 80s, when i rode my sister's 10-speed, i didn't know you could actually switch gears. i mean-- what?

so- my father-in-law (who bikes across states & up mountains for FUN) and The Mr. know how to ride bikes. i think it's in their blood. me?? notsomuch.
when The Mr. & i took it out for a spin- ohmigod the stress of it!

...Whaddya mean i need to change gears? this is fine. i'm pedaling. no problem.
well, it's a lot easier, if you don't make extra work for yourself. so when you go up a hill, downshift (??), and when you go downhill, you will have extra power, so you can upshift so your legs are in stride...
...(??) Whaddya mean i need to change gears? this is fine. i'm pedaling. no problem.

ok. so, yes. that was pretty much an actual conversation. nevermind the fact, then he proceeds to help me to understand (?) and he tells me when to shift. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. then he says to go up or down. (um.... which one which one??? there's two gears.... ohmy, stress!!!!!)

so, yeah. i've been wasting one of the best birthday gifts i had ever gotten b/c i'm a wuss at mechanics, driving, learning something from my husband.

but for our anniversary, i decided what a perfect time to go out into the woods (5 years gift is wood), pack a picnic, lose all inhibition and do something FOR HIM. b/c i knoooooow he would enjoy it. and so would i. if only he'd shuttup about the "correct" way.

so, about a month ago, we set off. he was all geared up (forgive the pun) and i packed a great picnic. the weather could NOT have been better! it was bliss.
for about 39 pedals in. then, the shifting conversation came back.
i got very upset and defensive and almost ruined the whole day.
my actual baby-ness coming out: ohmygod! shuttup! i'm doing this for you. i'm riding. isn't that good enough??

but, you see, if i would just listen, and he would be a little patient... all would work out.
after some much needed practice, i finally did learn how to shift (although i freely admit, i only fiddle w/ the right side) {he says that's OK, the hills aren't too large here}, and he would notice and say: "great job!" and i've gotten better about going uphill. although i still need my space. i'm not comfortable yet w/ him being beside me down hill or around a curve. but i'm getting better.

so, next time someone says: "it's just like riding a bike".... tell them to shove it.
because riding bikes can be hard and take years of arguing before you get it right.

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