Sunday, August 03, 2008

You never forget?

Yeah, right!

I've heard people say that you never forget to ride a bicycle once you know how. I beg to differ.

I could ride a bike pretty well when I was younger (until 12 or so) when I lived in a place which was conducive for bicycles. Of course I've had my fair share of scrapes and bruises and falling into drains and such. However, I could still cycle where I wanted to go (usually somewhere in the neighbourhood) and used to do so in the evenings (because there were no playstations available)

Fast forward to 2001, and after 9 years of not touching a bicycle, my friends (they left their riding around the same time as well) and I decided to try cycling at this place near the beach after our semester finals. We went over, rented a few bikes, and started riding. Well, they did, whilist I struggled to ride, and almost rode off from the track to the grass. I couldn't seem to focus on the pedalling and the path at the same time! At one point, I managed to fall into a lily pond as I swerved dangerously off a bridge into the side of pond (thank goodness it wasn't very wet at that time) with the bicycle on top of me. It took me awhile to untangle my limbs and to get the bicycle away from me so that I could get up.

I returned the bike to the rental place and sat with the others who couldn't ride as well. As I mulled, I realised something. What people say about you not forgetting to ride a bike does not apply to everyone. Especially me. I'm one of those odd people who seems to have forgotten how to ride a bicycle. Or could it possibly be that my semi-circular canals have ceased functioning?

9 comments:

  1. Pssh! I bet there are thing that you know and can do that others who 'never forget' can't. I think you're one smart cookie. Perish the memories of being able to ride a bike. The best place to start again is at the finish line ;)

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  2. I think that never forgetting thing is bollox as well. I got on a bike about ten years ago, probably ten years after I had last ridden one, and nearly got killed 3 times in the space of 10 minutes!

    Other plainly untrue phrases that annoy me are: 'what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger'... I mean loads of things that don't kill you make you weaker - like a non-fatal heart attack. The other one that comes to mind right now is 'it's always darkest just before the dawn'... not it isn't. It's quite light just before dawn.

    Apologies for that mini-rant. You are not alone on the cycling thing!

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  3. I think this is about muscle memory and balance. If you can keep your balance, eventually your muscles will remember what they are supposed to do.

    The key is staying in the damn saddle and not riding off into a ditch and hurting yourself before your muscle memory kicks in!

    I wouldn't be embarrassed in the slightest asking for adult training wheels!

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  4. I can't ride a bike! Don't think I even want to :)

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  5. orhan: Perish the memories of being able to ride a bike. That's the first time anyone's said that. Thanks... :)

    aunty: That would've been pretty scary, I bet. Yeah, you're absolutely right about those untrue phrases. I wonder who came up with them (or on what basis) in the first place....

    travis: I wouldn't mind adult training wheels either, but then again, If I remember corrrectly, I could keep my balance, but had issues steering, and then I fell.

    anita: You can't either? But then again, maybe KL was too dangerous to ride a bike in even when we were kids.

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  6. well i always feel out of sorts after a long time of not swimming. I can swim, but the first time back in the water after say a year is always disorientating.

    I rode last in high school. I couldnt for the first 10 minutes...kept messing up the peddling / steering...but after that it came back :)

    SS

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  7. i rode my bike everywhere in japan. imagine showing up for meetings on a bicycle, wearing a suit and sporting a courier bag. but then again, i ride all the time whether in the US or Japan.

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  8. cant ride but i so want to learn

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  9. SS: That's great to hear. Shows that there is hope. Yay!

    cyberfish: I saw that while I was in Japan. I'm not sure how the roads are in the US, but they actually had special bicycle lanes in Japan. Of course, in Malaysia, the smaller your vehicle (or even if you're a pedestrian) then you have to leave your lifespan to the mercy of the other road users

    tazeen: I'm sure it would be fun, I have plans to do so myself

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