Monday, November 22, 2010

Maiden Voyage

Bicyle races are coming your way.
You may recall a suspense-filled post in October when I wondered out loud if I'd purchase a bike that day.

I have one now. Check out that beaut!

The bike's appearance in my life stems from a few factors:
  1. parental pressures
  2. eagerness for a new endeavor
  3. illusions (potentially delusions) of grandeur
After four knee surgeries, my dad turned from marathon running to cycling. Now he regularly tours the state circuit, winning races and sometimes setting records. For a while now he's suggested that I take up the sport, too.

But let's take it back to age seven on our street, as Dad yelled at me to stop using my training wheels and I sulked. My bike bumped over the rough pavement, the kind that they smoothed after I was past my rollerblading phase (for that, I skated in the garage to "Heal the World" and "Eternal Flame"). The bumpy road made my teeth chatter. It did not make me want to leave my training wheels behind.

Dad was not impressed. Similar arguments would erupt in the learning-to-drive-a-car days, but right now this was the greatest block of my age: I could not ride a bike.

But beneath my fear lay sass. One afternoon, I stood on the driveway of my friend Stephanie's house as she and her sister rode in happy circles. And I decided: I'm going to ride my bike, too.

That evening, my dad drove around the corner to see me cycling around the cul de sac, training wheel-free. He never really acknowledged my victory. I used to think it was because he felt he failed in teaching me, but maybe he was just relieved I'd gotten over it on my own. We could move on now.

In recent years, he's tried various methods to motivate me to cycle. "Lots of young guys," he would say. "Not many girls. If you started training now, you could make the Empire State Games team."

Let's not forget the time Dad and I biked together in Monterey on a family vacation, four years since the last time I'd sat on a bike. We pushed away from the bike rental shop. Dad cruised into the road. I rode directly into a metal pole.

Regardless, enter the illusions/delusions. I like winning. I miss competing. I run races but do the sport mainly for fun. And I can't resist the thought: I could be good at this.

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