Awkward Biking Moments

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This picture is from months ago, when I first got my road bike. I was babysitting and the kids wanted to try out my new ride. A four year old took this picture which may explain why it is slightly…awkward. But don’t worry, she still has a few years to work on her photography skills. Come to think of it, this is better than the majority of my photos. Maybe I should hire her as my personal ride photographer and pull her along in the green trailer.

Last night, my sister, brother and I went to a fair together. I only hung out for a bit since I had to work in the morning so I soon ditched them, picked up my bike (which a friend had kindly allowed me to park in their vendor booth) and walked through the fair until I reached the street. Then I rested my bike against a wall while I swapped my sneakers for cycling shoes.

As I was doing so, an older man walked past me, looking at my bike all the while. I swear I caught my bike preening a bit under the attention. Cycling shoes affixed to my feet, I set my bike on the road and clipped my right foot in. At this point I noticed the older man up the sidewalk a bit, leaned against a brick wall and watching me closely.

I pushed my right foot down and then tried to clip my left foot in, but I was starting on an incline so I didn’t have enough momentum so I put my foot down to try again. This time I clipped in after a few precarious wobbles. (I do have a good excuse though, I have new petals and shoes and they are quite different from the old set my dad let me use.)

Finally pedaling smoothly, I set off down the road. As I got near where the old gentleman was standing, a guy approached him.

“What? You can’t make it all the way up the hill without taking a break?” He teased the older man.

“Well, at least I am making it up better than that girl on the bike.” He laughed.

I giggled softly as I past them by. I had to, even if I was the subject his gentle teasing. If only that old dude knew that the momentary fumbling he had just witnessed was tame compared to most of the awkward moments I have had on my bike. What if he had seen me try to flounder through deep snow? Or propel my bike with one leg when it decided to stop working on a subzero ride? Or fall abruptly the first time I used clipless pedals? Or come unclipped when being chased by a dog, legs flailing to find the pedals?

If he knew them all he could write an entire joke book!

I have so many undignified moments on my bike, but it is all part of the experience. I wouldn’t erase any moment of any bike ride even if I could. My bike and I are having a blast this year, so in the end I think we have the last laugh.

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10 thoughts on “Awkward Biking Moments

  1. I, too, am still getting used to the pedals. I find that the group is a few hundred metres ahead of me by the time I am clipped in and starting to move. It’s a learning curve–that’s for sure.
    Just remember, you are doing remarkable. Keep it up!

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  2. Some awkward moments are classic. In the NYC Five Boroughs Ride I approached a NYC cop to recommend a good pizza joint near by. When I said said excuse me officer, he turned just in time to seem fall over, still clipped into my pedals.

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  3. My classic is forgetting my feet are in commuter cages when I stop at a light. It’s a reflex now but I’m pretty sure that after I got my bike the newsagents on the main crossroads was keeping a book on how often I’d fall over…

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