Monday, April 5, 2010

Back to the basics

Saturday my boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and go bike riding around the city. Let me just say that I am not a biker and that it's been probably 15 years since the last time I rode one. I never liked it much as a kid because I was constantly scared of going too fast and losing control. But, like I mentioned in this post, I want my bf and I to be more active together, so I was willing to suck it up and give it a try.

We went to this semi-ghetto place on the Lower East Side to pick up our rental bikes, and as soon as I jumped on mine, I could feel myself getting anxious. As I attempted to pedal, I realized that I couldn't. Seriously, I couldn't ride the damn bike. I FORGOT how! Now, how the hell is THAT possible?

As I struggled with the pedals and became more and more frustrated with each try, I developed an audience. People stopped to watch the 29 year-old girl who didn't know how to ride a bike. One lady even shouted out, "It's OK, girrrl. You'll get it!" Seriously? Am I still in Manhattan? I could walk down the street wearing a bikini in the dead of winter and no one would think twice, but somehow my inability to ride a bike was the most interesting thing everyone had seen that day. Awesome.

My boyfriend seemed shocked about what he was witnessing. He tried instructing me, but I was so pissed off with the whole thing, I just gave up and started bawling my eyes out. (Yes, it was as pathetic as it sounds.) But, as you know from this post, I'm no quitter. So, I took a deep breath and really tried to focus on what my boyfriend was telling me about pushing off with one foot, pedaling with the other, changing gears, etc etc. And finally, I got it!

We rode all the way from the LES to 81st street in Central Park, and there were many hiccups along the way. We rode along the FDR, which was a HUGE mistake. As I tried to squeeze by this railing, I totally knocked it over. Ouuuch! I kept going, but we ended up turning around as soon as we saw how unsafe and narrow the bike path was. Scar-y.

Three hours later, we were at the park. (I was going at a snail's pace!) We found our group of friends and chilled out for a bit, but around 5pm we realized we only had two hours to get the bikes back in time by 7pm! Shiiiit! We left in a hurry and devised our plan of attack of how we were going to make it back a whole hour quicker than before. My boyfriend decided to stay behind me so that he could guide and encourage me. Push it honey, PUSH IT! Go left, now veer right, now PUSH...If you tell me one more FREAKING time to PUSH.IT. I'm going to go FLIP.OUT. Silence. Two minutues later, C'mon, honey, PUSH IT! Bickering ensued, but time was running out, so I ignored him and kept on pedaling the best I could. Thinking back on it, it was pretty hilarious. I felt like we were on Amazing Race!

And guess what, we made it back to the bike rental at 6:30! We hugged and did a little victory dance, and I didn't care who was watching this time. I was just so happy to be back on the ground in one piece!

The afternoon was more stressful than fun, but it was definitely a bonding experience. Kudos to my bf for being so patient and putting up with my pouty behavior! Tell me: Has there been a time when something as silly as riding a bike brought you closer to your partner? And what's your favorite sunny day activity? Who has bike riding tips for me? I NEED 'em!


  1. So much for the saying "it's like riding a bike"!

  2. Ellen I love ya but I'm laughing at this post. Mostly because that will be me soon enough...

    I haven't been on a real bike since I was 15-16?? Would sure love to do a tri someday and um...there might just be biking in that.

    Way to go for sticking it out!

  3. This is hilarious! And part of me even feels sorry for Luke. Can he do a guest post and tell his side?! I guess you will look back at your bike riding adventure and know he loves you, but I bet it didn't feel like that at the time.

    I love the Amazing Race and you would make a great contestant, I'll be your partner if Luke won't!

  4. This happened to me a few years ago. Fortunately I was on a trail without many people to see. Riding a bike is hard, you do forget how to do it! There is also the soreness the day after in private places, hope you're feeling OK! :)

  5. FUN! I've lived here all my life but have never really biked around. One of these days...

  6. Aw, I love you! This sounds like a story I would tell. I am a HORRIBLE bike rider! My last boyfriend and I went on vacation with his family, and I ran into a fence while riding bikes with them! It was pitiful!

    I blame it on my being raised in S. Florida and only being allowed to ride my bike to the fire hydrant, 5 house down, and back.

    Glad you guys had fun in the end!

  7. Blakey and I always talk about how we think we would do if we were on amazing race together. It is funny how any two people who love each other can approach situations so differently.

  8. i'm so impressed you biked in the city! i haven't biked in forever (um, since i was a kid?) but bikers in nyc...

  9. Seriously, NORTC! If someone says that to me, I will assume they are talking about a very hard, painful task!

    Barbara, I was thinking the same thing about the tri! I have a mini-tri on my bucket list, but this experience made to totally rethink tha :/

    Haha, Bec, I kinda feel sorry for Luke after reading my post over again! I was so pyscho. And YES, Amazing Race--let's DO IT!!! (I'm um, kind of serious.)

    Yes, Kate, two days later and I am still VERY sore in "special" places.

    Katie and Lynn, you should just DO IT! If I can, seriously, anyone can. I think the West Side Highway is supposed to be a better route...or even the park...if you're patient enough to navigate around the people!

    Alison, that sounds terrible! Many spectators in NYC witnessed my dispicable biking skills, but doing it in from of my bf's parents def would have been much worse!

    Sarah, I would pay money to see you and Blakey on Amazing Race together! Now that would be entertainment! And you're so right...I'm pretty sure Luke and I would approach any situation the complete opposite way!

  10. Oh my too funny! Yeah you should probably smack whoever came up with the "its like riding a bike" quote.

    I need a pep talk each spring before I get on my road bike, as I have to clip my shoes into the peddals on it. It is so nerve wracking those first few rides when we approach a stop light or an intersection, do unclip? do I not unclip? will I fall on my face?

    But will this inspire you to try it some more? Who knows you may be buying your own cruiser soon.....

  11. hahahahahahaha
    im going to guess you guys are not in a hurry to get back out on the bikes.

  12. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you clip in your shoes, Britt!!! I think that would be my ultimate fear. I've done spinning class where I had to clip in my shoes and that was freaky enough for me!

    Umm yeah, Flip, you could say that. I'd like to think this experience won't keep me from trying again, but I really don't think there will be a Round 2 in the near future...

  13. Awesome, and a little sad. Maybe I should lighten up on K's biking skillz. Bikes are a way of life in our town in the summer. Beach cruisers with big ass baskets...

    I think you should do it a few more times (before the heat of summer) before you give up on it.

  14. Yeah, George, I'm going to give it another try. I mean, I can only get BETTER, right??