I never actually learned to ride a bike as a kid. I spent many hours on a tricycle when I was a toddler; the trike just became less appropriate when I physically outgrew it. My friends, on the other hand, all received sparkling new Schwinns. They’d spend their summers cruising around New York suburbs’ sidewalks, weaving in and out of traffic as I watched from afar.
Simply put, it sucked. Hard. I tried and failed numerous times to balance on a beat-up girl’s bike at my grandparent’s house, but I always fell. For two decades, I attempted to ride on friends’ and family members’ bikes, but only ever moved a couple of feet before I’d nervously tip over onto the sidewalk and panic. After attempting and failing to balance on a friend’s bike in Prospect Park in 2009, I all but gave up on biking for good.
The idea of getting back onto a bike came to me five years later, when I lost my editing job in the summer of 2014. All my newfound free time as an unemployed adult came with a new determination to check off some major to-do’s in my life: applying to grad school, finishing The Wire, and, of course, learning how to ride a bike. (more…)