Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A boy needs a bike

I bought an old, second had bike recently. Only one brake works and the handlebars don’t quite lengthen to the correct height; it is a little rickety but it does the job. After I got it home it occurred to me that I hadn’t ridden a bike for nearly 30 years. We often use the parallel of riding a bike to describe how we never forget certain skills. I was now about to find out how true the old adage was!

It was a strange feeling to be cycling again after so long. As I coasted down hills I was reminded of distant childhood memories; the thrill and the freedom of speeding down slopes. I felt invigorated as I continued my journey.. that is, until those downward hills reversed into uphill slopes. I puffed up and panted, disappointed with myself at my wretched efforts to scale even relatively gentle slopes. Some hills proved too much of a challenge and I had to dismount and walk up them. As I did so my legs wobbled and ached from the effort. My breathing was labored and quick as my body protested about the stamina required of it to cope with my new pursuit.

I went out a couple of days later and was pleased that I fared a little better. It still proved difficult to cope with the hills but I did manage to stay on the bike for the entire journey, even though anyone seeing me struggle pathetically up those hills would probably have taken pity on me and offered to give me a push. I am hoping to build up my strength and am determined to get to the point where I don’t arrive home gasping for water and needing to sit down to catch my breath. I never realized how unfit I was. We don’t have a car and I walk everywhere so I am by no means new to regular exercise. But the bike; well, I have to admit it, the bike very nearly beat me. Not quite though, and if nothing else, I am a very determined person and I will persevere.

We also got my son’s bike repaired after months of it being out of action. He was itching to get back onto it again and as soon as the last nut was tightened he jumped onto the seat and sped off for a ride around the block. He came back excited and happy. I am of the opinion that boys really only need 3 things in life to keep them amused; a ball, a bike and a box of marbles; everything else is just superfluous.

Sharona B