Saturday, April 03, 2010

Like riding a bicycle....

I am purging that saying from my cliche files. Most of us who have been alive a while are aware that there are a lot of things we once mastered that don't really come back "like riding a bicycle". (My former quasi-fluency in Spanish and my ability to roller skate are two examples of things that would require some major effort to revive.) Apparently even "riding a bicycle" isn't "just like riding a bicycle." There's been a learning curve. "Oh SHIT, a curve! I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TURN!!!!!" The reality is I DO know how to turn, but my memory of how I used to feel on a bike is intact, and I don't feel natural and confident yet. So while I am on my "sabbatical," there will be many rides on our quiet neighborhood streets, before I venture off my very quiet neighborhood streets to the ones that are slightly less quiet, like, to go to the library.

I haven't had that much time to ride in the last month - there was a LOT of rain, and preparing for Asheville, and the trip itself, and then my bad knee got puffy and stiff and complained for nearly a week because I stepped off an uneven curb too hard in downtown AVL (it's fine again), then more rain, and then being too depressed by my work situation to do anything in the evening that didn't involve wine and mindless television.

BUT, that blip on my resume lovely experience is almost behind me now (looks like my last day will be official by Tuesday or Wednesday), and today was spectacularly pretty, so this afternoon I put down the remote and got out the bike. I'm getting used to riding again. This afternoon's ride wasn't nearly as "Daddy just took off my training wheels and I'm wobbling down the road, white-knuckling the handlebars," as the first few. I'm starting to get my groove back - enjoying the ride instead of thinking about whether I'm drifting or wobbling or OMG do I remember how to turn? It's been a bit of a learning curve - I don't know whether to chalk it up to being out of practice and therefore less confident, or if my balance is really just a wee bit wonkier post-brain-thang. Since the brain thang, my only bike time was on the stationary bikes at the gym. Not much chance of falling off. So my stamina to ride a bike for an hour isn't an issue, but my confidence is. Fortunately, that is coming back, little by little. Because I really want my old bicycle groove back.

I LOVE the bike. They aren't kidding when they say "comfort bike" - I can ride for an hour with no complaints from my butt, and the added bonus of the upright posture resulting in no pressure on my carpal tunnel challenged right wrist is truly awesome.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And don't forget - the older we are, the more aware we are: of traffic dangers; of the hideous inconvenience of even a broken wrist, let alone anything worse; and yes, our balance is not as 'unthinking' as it was, even without a 'brain thang'. The groove will return. Have Fun !!

Gae, in Callala Bay

Catherine said...

Well, the last time I rode a bike regularly I was over 40 - it's only been about...4 years? Maybe 5? So I'm kinda surprised that I have to ease back into it like this. The gap is not that long!

Catherine said...

After I thought about it later, I struggled to do the math in my head - timelines are one of the things that don't work so well. I think it was probably 6 years since I rode last, and that was only a few times, but at that time it still felt easy and natural.

k said...

Things change, you know. It might just be a self-confidence thing, too. Doesn't matter; I'm sure it will get better.
I am so glad you are having a break!

Catherine said...

It's getting better already. Yes, I am very, very thankful that I have the ability to take a sabbatical - I really, really need it!

caroline said...

Oh, Catharine! Best news I've heard in a long time! Yay you for taking the leap. Enjoy every nanosecond of it.

Catherine said...

I'm even enjoying the winding up of the job. Everything I do reminds me that I don't want do think about it again. That's how much I needed this!