Monday, May 10, 2010
Just Like Riding a Bike
Some things you never forget. Or so they say.
Back in 1973 when daughter Amy wasn't even yet walking, I didn't think twice about transporting her all over my neighborhood in San Diego...on the back of my bike. I had riden a bike all my life. Nothing to it. Once you 'got' it, it became old hat.
When we moved to Atlanta in 1987, all those cities and states and years later, it was a different story. It wasn't the riding-of-bikes part. It was the city. All spread out, hilly, and without connecting side streets to get from here to there easily. Bottom line, it wasn't a bike-friendly city. Still isn't.
Which is why I haven't had or riden a bike in YEARS...until now, in Holland. My first 5 months here (can you believe I just celebrated that milestone!) I walked everywhere. Anything I needed I could walk to. Plenty of exercise and I loved it.
However, now I'm getting ready to start a year's worth of school (next post) and because time will be a commodity, having a bike is important.
Thanks to Astrid never getting rid of her old bike from 22 years ago, I now have a new companion with 3 gears. (Yes, I'll have to come up with a name for her. Wanna help me?) Astrid's newer, 10-year-old bike has 24 gears, everyone of which she uses. She initially insisted that I use her bike and she'd use this older one. But I won the argument. How in the world could I ever figure out 24 gears, let alone use them! Three are more than enough for my almost 65-year-old body. I convinced her.
By now I have had 3 dry runs to Da Vinci College 15 minutes away by bike. But here's the thing: it's NOT like just riding a bike! That part is, of course...the actual riding. But riding a bike in Holland is NOT like riding a bike in the States. Maybe in NYC? I don't know. Nor is it Amsterdam. But in a country that has more bikes per capita than any other country, it'll be pure craziness for me during rush-hour traffic...bikes and cars alike. The night before my second dry run, alone, without Astrid, I thought I'd have nightmares. The space in between the parked cars on the right and the cars passing on the left freaked me out.
I'm glad to say I've become a lot more relaxed about it all, though still alert, and picture putting my new friend back into her parking space (inside our senior-living complex, under cover) each day I come back from school. She's a bit of an old-fogey like me, but her gears work just fine and she seems to know what she's doing.
HA! Did I ever believe I'd go back to school again. I mean the kind of school that has exams! I start a week from today, Monday, and will go for a year. But as I said, that's my next post, when I'll be writing about the venture for my Vision & Verb turn.
Till then, wish me some more dry runs and lots of confidence...till it's all just like riding a bike!