I have a phobia of cycling, basically because I am crap at it. Just picture a chick on a bike; wonky steering, wobbling wheels, knuckles turning a ghostly shade of white while wrapped around the brakes… gammy as. So needless to say, the only bicycle I had been on recently was a stationary one at the gym, and that time that I don’t really want to talk about during the Christmas holidays when I was too scared to go down a slight slope and my mum thought it was a grand idea to video this calamity unfold. I’m so useless that I got off and walked the bike down the driveway.
So yesterday when I was asked to go mountain biking with my family, I ummed and arrred and did not jump at the chance. Eventually I went along with it (I couldn’t smother the inner opportunist this time). I geared up and got ready to go to the pits of bicycle track hell. When I turned up at Mum’s my nephew said “If you practice, you will get better.” True, but why in the heck does his 7 year old wisdom not work for alcohol consumption? Being the awesome aunty that I am, I smiled back in the fakest possible way that I knew how.
When we got up to the all-terrain park of death traps, my nephew was out on his bike riding the over the manmade bumps before I could even sniffle at the light drizzle outside. My mum handed me gloves and a helmet that made me look like the professional that I was not and my brother-in-law helped me with the ins and outs of getting on yer bike by starting with a line that I never expected him to say to me “Now once you get a leg over…”
Once I did get a leg over, he guided me on the ins and outs of commanding wheels attached to metal. It was ok, until I was let loose on the Mickey Mouse track… for kids. Squeaks, squeals, ‘oh gods”, sh*ts”, and f*cks”, echoed up and over and round and round the wee trail. It really was a Mickey Mouse operation of bicycling. While the neph zoomed past yelling “This is awesome!” his wayward aunty was found caste atop a peak with the bike lying sideways and teetering, laughing too hard to get off the track.
We tried the family loop track and I got to witness the bro-in-law worrying too much about his son ahead that he flipped over the handle bars and landed in the bush, flaying about like a freshly caught fish. So not only did my quads, calves and glutes get a good work out, so did the abs from the five minute doubled-over laughing break.
Judders, rudders and I’m glad that my udders were well contained in a sports bra, I felt glad to be a woman. Even though the cooch and arse was getting a hammering (not a bike porno, just novice gear changing choices), I revelled in the fact that this must be much easier than having your Gonzo getting an uppercut from that rock solid bicycle seat. My jiggering brain shaking around in my skull wondered if male cycling enthusiasts can reproduce? And are there such things as ball bras?
So it turns out that cycling may not be so bad, given that I was privy to a couple of rounds of laughter. And it also turns out that I am less awkward than I thought and I don’t need to ride clutching the brakes. I’ll just wait until I can walk properly again, to get a leg over and jump back on a bike.