Currently, I am on reprieve from school due to a glorious thing called Spring Break, and so I am spending some time at home. I spent the past weekend teaching my little sister how to ride a bike. I should say younger sister, since at fifteen years old she isn’t very “little” anymore. Disregarding the fact that she is fifteen, and only yesterday learned how to ride a bike (hey, don’t look at me, blame my parents for that one), it has been quite the interesting, but overall rewarding, process.
The journey was not without its fair share of blood, sweat, and yes, tears. But I don’t want to overload you with the compelling tales of navigating Walmart and Target to find the perfect bike, breaking and entering into an elementary school to practice, eventual success, followed by a second day of trail riding and plenty of face-plants into the dirt. This post is dedicated specifically to one minor incident—a product of my sheer stupidity (or awkwardness; take your pick).
We were at the tail end of our adventure, already having done quite a bit of biking, and my sister and I were hanging out on the nearby college campus waiting to be picked up by our dad. As we were killing time, my sister was biking back and forth, “practicing,” she said.
One thing I noticed was that she was very hesitant to go over small bumps, like little hills in the grass or dirt, or cracks in the cement. Trying to boost her confidence, I told her that she doesn’t need to worry about little bumps, because bikes were made to go over them. To prove my point I declared, “Bikes can even go up curbs!”
To which she replied, “No they can’t!”
“Yes they can,” I shot back. “I’ll prove it to you.”
I’m sure you know where this is going…
So I hop on my bike, and start heading for a nearby curb, thinking to myself as I approach it, “You’ve done this before, right?” To which the other side of my brain responded, “Yeah! Totally!” Unfortunately, none of my brain could remember the specific technique.
Left side: “Are you supposed to go straight on? Or angled?”
Right side: “I don’t know, but you better decide, because here it comes!”
All this figuring meant that I was going at a pretty lackluster speed, and so, as you can imagine, I hit the curb (at a slight angle), and contrary to my previous claim, my bike did not climb over the curb, but instead veered to the left, and catapulted me off and into the grass (at least I was smart enough to pick a curb that was lined with grass).
I hopped up really quickly so as to not let my sister think I was hurt, and instinctively gave two thumbs up at her. I was expecting to see her concerned, but of course she was just laughing hysterically, almost falling off her own bike.
Now I have two new scrapes on my right leg, completing the work that my previous wipe out had begun. At least my left leg has remained unscathed. For now…
Moral of the story? Bikes can’t go up curbs*. And Awkward Girl can’t prove points either.
*I realize that yes, if done correctly, bikes can in fact go up curbs. After telling the story, multiple people were kind enough to inform me that jerking the bike upwards as you hit the curb is the technique I was looking for. Too bad I didn’t know that when I was stupidly racing toward one, determined to prove my point at all costs. You win this time awkwardness…