Sunday, June 13, 2010
Today, the street -- tomorrow, the world.
Learned to bicycle three weeks ago, in my 49th year. Of all my accomplishments (am not telling), that's the one I am proudest of. I felt cheated somehow, that no one bothered to teach me before. Before Malini, that is. She came armed with knee guards, elbow guards and wrist guards. And I borrowed Mukunda's helmet. Malini held the bike, ran alongside me, and what did I do? I ran over her foot a couple of times. I decided then to learn quickly, to avoid further accidents. The hardest thing about cycling is not to zig-zag. I need the entire width of the street to myself. I still cannot stop wobbling or make turns. I had one major fall a week ago when I took my right hand off the handlebar to scratch my nose. The bicycle careened to the left and I fell quite comprehensively in an undignified heap in the middle of the street. This morning I had to share the street with a man walking a dog towards me. I came to a stop 10 yards away and waited for him to pass by which took about 15 minutes because the dog was curious and stopped to look at my ankles. The man gave me a strange look, so I had to explain to him that I was a new cyclist. He understood the entire situation instantly, gave me some advice about the brakes and moved on leaving the street free and clear once more.