People tell you, "It's like riding a bike; you never forget!" That, my friend, is where they're WRONG!
Steering - I drive a car and manage to keep it on the right side of the road. I can not however, steer a bike. There’s a disconnect between my hands and the handlebars. There are a couple of things to check before actually riding a bike.
For instance, what height is the seat adjusted to as opposed to what height your bum is adjusted to? They should be in close proximity to the same distance from the ground. At the same time you should be aware of how far it is from the seat to the ground for other purposes as well, like how far am I going to fall from this contraption and which bones heal the fastest after I do. Since this entry began I’ve had my first up close and personal meeting with the ground, landing with less grace than I’d like to admit and the only thing I broke was my pride.
Are your arms in good condition? It’s a little known fact that people, women over 60 riding a bike for the first time in 20 or so years, can grasp the handlebars so tightly as to alter the blood flow to their extremities. Therefore, after a trip down the bike trail and around the ball field one can be incapacitated to lift a tissue, so even though it may be right in your pocket, you want to prevent sneezing at all costs.
Where are the brakes? Pushing back on pedals when the brakes are on the handlebars has little effect. You still keep going like a crazy person headed in the wrong direction. Keep in mind, when heading for a curb or other abutment, it is important to stop before hitting it.
Brakes - the ones in the front - those babies can throw you right over the handlebars if you use them going downhill fast without the assistance of the rear brake.
Most importantly, is your insurance paid up?
I grew up in Middletown, PA, at the time a military community of the USAF. Kids, we had kids galore and all of us had bikes. We could ride from Swatara Park after a day of swimming to the Milk Bar for a milkshake without breaking a sweat. Up hill and down, mile after mile chatting and laughing as we went. (The inference there is that we were breathing, not panting!)
By the way, I think our bums were made of titanium. There’s a dramatic difference between riding a bike at 65 and riding a bike at 12. OK, I’m aware there are many older enthusiasts out there who still ride, and one day, I’ll be accomplished, but today yet I have to just thank the Lord for a heart that beats, legs that move and an over-active imagination. I imagine me skimming down the roadways, laughing pleasantly with my grandchildren instead of running over pedestrians and into small bushes.
Think about it
When was the last time you went outside just for the sheer enjoyment of God’s creation, not for the purpose of getting to and from the car, not to chase the kids down the street, not for a self-imposed exercise regimen, but just to experience the wonder of His creation? It might be time to sit in the backyard, or take a walk, a leisurely walk. He has given us all things to enjoy, and yet sometimes we get so busy we forget.
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Thank Him.