Learn to Fly

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 21 June 2010 at 17:40

A thought has just occurred to me, what with the sun being constantly on show this summer, and the prospect of going to two foreign towns that are big enough to warrant public transport, but small enough that public transport is only really for the old ladies and the sightseers, that I never learnt to ride a bike.

You know how everyone has one of those things they regret never doing? Some people regret not putting on that lottery ticket last week, because they were sure to win it. Others regret never being taught to swim by their overcautious parents. Me? I honestly regret never having an interest in riding a bike. I think it came from the fact that I grew up on a terraced row of houses, at the top of a hill. The prospect of going down to the main road involved a lengthy descent via one of six potential inclines - I could have gone down the three streets that connected our terrace to the road below; used the nearby park to go down without careening to my death; or I could have tried the lanes at either end of my section of houses.

However, I didn't. I remember my parents bought me a bike. It was a black one. A Wolfcub or something it was called, with this red and yellow thunderbolt on it, and a soppy looking wolf's head to boot. At least, that's how I remember it in my head. They put the stabilisers on it, and we went to the park to practice, but, to get into the park, there was a hill. That's no fun when you've not really learnt how to pedal AND not panic. So, needless to say, I had no interest in dying at such a young age. And the bike became resigned to the shed.

Now, almost aged 21, having lived in Cardiff for two years, and seen umpteen students biking to and from lectures; having been to Artà and seen the number of people who would bike just to enjoy the breeze; having been to Barcelona numerous times, and seen their amazing commuting program, making use of a bike rental (pick it up at one bike rack, and just make sure you drop it off at another one before you leave it unattended); having been to all these places and seen the fun that comes with it all...I wish I actually had put the effort in to learning to ride.

They say you can never forget how to ride a bike. Well, how about never actually learning in the first place? I think myself quite the social anomaly in terms of this. In light of this, I've been looking into how an adult can learn to cycle. It appears that the simplest way is just to get a bike, take the pedals off it, and 'scoot' until you feel you've got the knack of balancing - increase the scooting speed; increase the distance; increase the time with feet off the ground; add some corners - and then put the pedals back on, and see if two-and-two can be put together.

One day I'll master it. One day. But for now, car-less, penniless, and generally lacking motivation in this sweltering heat, I am resigned to sitting indoors, reading through my collection of Terry Pratchett novels, just to induce some kind of fantasy world which detracts from the fact that I live in a veritable Llareggub, without the sea! Right now, I've got more chance of learning to fly!


There are 0 comments for Learn to Fly

Post a Comment