Saturday, July 10, 2010

Like Riding a Bike

A couple weeks back, I rented a bicycle and rode it around some parts of Madison. I haven't picked up a bicycle in 22 years, if not longer. And oh those 22 years ago, I wasn't very good at riding bikes either. I was unsteady, afraid to fall, and also, I had nowhere in particular to go. Then one day I did fall, so, you know, fuck bikes.

My parents leaned on me to keep riding the bikes, and apparently I said to them, "You only want me to ride that bike so I can hurt myself." What a nasty thing to say, even for an eight-year-old. When I told them that I had a desire to ride a bike again and intended on buying one, they told me that above line several times.

Anyway, it took me 40 minutes or so and two different bicycles to be able to ride the thing. I was out there in a parking lot near one of the busiest streets in Madison and a well-traveled bike path trying to relearn, Being uneasy, stumbling, swearing, and generally just unable to do it. Someone had to have been laughing at me because it was ridiculous, especially that time when I couldn't do it and the preschoolers rode by without any worry in the world. But, after I conquered the beast, there was a moment when I was bicycling in my uneasy fashion on a straight piece of path where I came upon a handicapped man cruising down the bike path in his electric wheelchair.

At this point of my bike riding re-education, I was nervous to pass anyone because I couldn't hold the bicycle straight. I would wobble a lot. Turns were nearly impossible. And, after riding the bike, my left hand was numb for two days because I was that scared about falling, hurting myself, and otherwise feeling like an ass. Therefore passing a man in an electronic wheelchair was going to be daunting for me.

Plus, the handicapped guy had some erratic movements. Like he would stop suddenly or veer way over into another lane. Not that he was a prick, but he was really messed up, like Stephen Hawings kind of messed up. Probably hard to control one of those motorized chairs if you've got all those problems.

However, that guy, and all his issues in his chair was in front of me. And I had to get around him. Passing people is a part of biking. Before I went, I stopped a ways back and assessed the situation, made sure nobody else was coming so I can pull this maneuver without any collisions. Anyway, I shoot the moon, announce "On your left!" to the guy in the wheelchair and cruise on by. Success!

Emily then catches up to me and we chat for a bit about the successful passing of the guy in the wheelchair and I say to her the following:

"You know, even if I did hit him, it's not like I was going to fuck him up any worse than he already is."

Which reminds me of blogging. I'm unsteady at it, an infrequent user, and at times inappropriate. But, you know, I want to do it and it's not like I'm going to fuck it up. So, here's to restarting my efforts, once again.

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