Today I decided to test the notion that you never forget how to ride a bicycle. In my case it had been about 20 years since I last rode a bike, so it seemed plausible that I might actually have forgotten. It turned out that while I was pretty inept when I got on the bike today, I was almost certainly better than I would have been had I never learned in the first place. It took intense concentration, but I managed to avoid falling over, colliding with anything, or ending up in the Hudson River (it turns out the trail has no guardrail between about 100th and 125th streets).
Some thoughts about the re-learning process:
- Turning is harder than I remembered.
- Actually, just going in a straight line is harder than I remembered.
- Bicycle seats are uncomfortable.
- Sharing the road with the New York City taxicab fleet is a somewhat terrifying prospect. Waiting until I got to the bike trail before I attempted to ride was a very good idea.
- However, the riverside trail on a warm Saturday afternoon has its own hazards: hordes of pedestrians, some of whom are not very attentive.
- Being an obviously incompetent cyclist in front of those hordes of people is embarrassing, but not as much as, say, walking through Times Square in a Starfleet uniform to see the new Star Trek film. Not that I have any experience with that.
I used a rented bike today, but I’m contemplating buying one. Anyone know a good bike shop in Manhattan?