So, I am twenty-two, and I am learning how to ride a bicycle. I can understand how amusing this could be for all you bicycling experts out there, who mastered this art (yes, art) at ages 7, 8 and 9. Clearly, I felt at that age I had better things to do than cycle and it was only till very recently that I realized what I was missing out on.
A few days back I decided I wanted to cycle. I don’t know why I wanted it, how I could achieve it and when I’d do it, all I knew was that I wanted to cycle. In the words of Freddie Mercury, ‘I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.’
Step one was to arrange for a bike. That was going to be the only difficulty, I had thought. One phone call and that was taken care of. Step two, find a teacher – that was easy, my boyfriend readily agreed, even when it was decided the time to cycle would be 6 am (true love, huh?). What a sport. Step three was to bike.
Day One: It’s ALL about the bike
The wake-up call was dreadful. Neither of us wanted to get up and were waiting for the other to cancel. But somehow we were on the road, the new cycle by our side and on the road by 0602.
I don’t care what Lance Armstrong says, for me, it was all about the bike: because it was too high for me. I had to hop on every time and it was tough to ride, knowing I may not be able to touch my feet. It’s funny, I was scared of falling, if only a few inches!
It was a workout, for me and Aman. More so for him, because he had to hold the bike and run beside me, and hold it again as my steering wavered and I headed towards a neighbour’s BMW.
He says he let go for full three seconds and I steered well, right before heading abruptly towards my right and falling. I figured that was progress.
I needed to rest so I stopped. Rest for Aman, or in this case any cycling expert, meant, well, cycling. I can’t believe my Everest is his leisurely, walk in the park.
I know it’s going to get more frustrating as we go along. I may fall and I know I will get impatient. I have learnt an important fact of life on day one: no one likes abrupt breaks on their path to freedom or happiness (or anything that resembles them). It is only satisfying if it is a smooth ride. And right now, my ride is far from smooth.
But I am happy. I am doing something I gave up long back. I don’t know if this is worth writing about, but then everything is. One thing is for sure, this diary is to remind me of a moment, an episode in my life where I decided to learn something new, and hopefully, irrespective of my age, I will continue to do so.
I have been coming up with some theories as to why I want cycle, all of a sudden, out of the blue. I feel it may have something to do with wanting to complete unfinished businesses, tie the loose ends. I may have given up on things worth holding on to and not given up on things and people I should have fast let go of.
As I grow older, I am coming to realize the lack of control I have on my life or anyone else’s for that matter. The only thing I want to control for now, is that steering. I want to ride my bicycle. Perhaps, this is a call of nature, my nature, an expression of my innate child-likeness, the need to be free, to be faster than I am on my two feet, with the wind singing songs in my ears.
And my last theory, it is the need to achieve something tangible, to conquer a skill, and as I said earlier, to finish something I should have a long time ago. But will I?