“Like Riding a Bike”

No one ever use that analogy in front of me again. I’m serious.

This post is only vaguely travel-related, but in the interest of being open about my lack of sophistication, I feel like it may lay some important ground-work for the future. I will explain this once, but I fear it may haunt me in years to come.

The summer I was eight, I finally learned how to ride a bike after may weeks of picking gravel from the driveway out of my knees. I loved it. It was a little hint of freedom I could have after school while my mother’s patience for sitting on the porch held out. We moved again when I was twelve and the bike was given away because there was nowhere for me to ride. A few years later we were (you guessed it) moving yet again and I found a used bike with high hopes that now since I was older, I would be able to find the time and place to ride.

My bike found itself sequestered away in my mother’s shed until a few months ago when I rescued it, refilled the tires and prepared myself for hours of exploring and adventuring. How naive I was. I assumed that because I rode quite well ten years ago, I would be fine. 

Part of me hopes it is just because the bike needs everything tightened and the seat lowered, that the experience was so demoralizing. Another part of me is pretty sure that it is just a humiliating failure and yet another example of how inaccurate old adages are. The front tire well started wobbling and basically I fell into a thorn bush.

It worries me that I have apparently lost all my bike riding skills. The prospect of having a car in another country or even a large American city is an expensive hassle. Walking, public transit, and bicycling are a preferable way to get around. Last summer I was completely in awe of the bicycling skills of people in Oxford. It’s true they nearly ran me down a few times, but I saw one woman elegantly swing one leg off her bike and make a standing glide up to a bike rack. This is obviously a necessary ex-pat skill I need to work on.

Or I could learn to drive a moped. 


  1. I felt the same way in Spain about all the beautiful people racing by me on their bicycles. I did adore their mini cars though too because they sped around with such flare!

    1. Hello beautiful! I was mostly impressed by the lack of traffic laws and the parking on the sidewalks that took place in Italy. With those narrow medieval streets it makes sense they have such tiny cars. Hope you’re well.

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