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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Somewhat Belated Breaking News

Last Sunday was a major day in the sporting world.  Spain won its first World Cup and yours truly finally learned to ride a bicycle:

Me on a bicycle with YSG not too far behind!

This picture from my sister's blackberry is a little grainy, but there I am.  I was very excited to cross this off my list

I rented the bike from Larry & Jeff's Bicycles NYC on 3rd ave.  The plan was to wake up really early Sunday morning and bike along the 102nd St. transverse in Central Park.  That didn't happen.  Instead, I met up with Little Belle and her friend, Yellow Shirt Guy, at 10:15 and we headed over to the East River, figuring that path would be less crowded.

Little Belle and YSG seemed confident that I could do this.  I was hopeful, but less certain.  I'm really not sure why I never learned as a kid.  I wasn't totally uncoordinated.  I figure skated.  I horseback rode.  I just never figured out how to bike without training wheels.  Just before my 7th birthday, my family moved to a town with lots of windy, hilly roads and no sidewalks.  I think that's when I gave up trying.  It wasn't a good town for kids on bikes.  I was a bookworm, anyway, and perfectly comfortable being quirky. 

There have been times when being able to ride a bike would have been helpful.  When I was fifteen or sixteen, my whole bunk at sleepaway camp went on a long bike ride on some field trip.  Oddly enough, my best friend couldn't ride either, though, so that ended up being ok.  Somewhat more recently, I had a moment of panic when I learned that one of the firms I was considering interning at during law school had sent their summer associates on a bike trip the previous year.  I figured I'd just call in sick that day if it came to that. 

Mostly, though, not being able to ride a bike has just been interesting trivia, good for ice breakers and first dates.  (It's also a failsafe comeback to "it's just like riding a bicycle.")

As I walked my rental bike to the East River last weekend, it struck me that the mechanics of bike riding aren't all that different from those of horseback riding.  It's much easier to steer a horse when you're moving at a decent clip.  You don't want to steer much with your hands.  You need to focus at approximately the same point in the distance in front of you.   (There are differences, of course.  A bike won't hesitate to crash into a fence, but it will never purposefully try to throw you, either.) 

YSG deserves lots of credit for teaching me, but, actually, once I figured out how to start, I was pretty much fine.  Yes, I fell a bunch.  And I went off the path a few times.  But I managed to go for decent stretches between incidents and didn't hit any people or dogs.  I was hoping to go again this weekend to make sure the progress sticks, but the heat's just been awful.  Hopefully riding a bike is, in fact, all it's cracked up to be, and I'll remember everything I learned next time.

I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-



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