I came into this weekend not knowing how to ride a bike. My dad says that I tried when I was a little girl, but I guess I fell and my nose started bleeding, and I was not having that. Even back then I was a stubborn fighter, demanding an example of a time when riding a bike would be a skill applicable to anything I wanted to do in life. And how can you argue with a five-year-old’s logic when it’s rock solid like that?
So, riding a bike is never really a thing I’ve done, but I was already doing the half marathon this weekend, and I found out that if you did the half marathon and a bike ride of any distance, you got a special “brick” award. And we all know how I am about awards.
This morning, I rented a bike. Now, on the way to the bike race, I’m thinking “I rock spin class at the gym. I’m very coordinated. Obviously, I got this.”
Then, I get to the rental booth, and they rent me a bike! I’m looking at this huge thing (vehicle, machine, mechanism?) and just thinking “uh…oh yeah, bikes are bigger than people…Sheesh.”
At this point, I had already come out to Palm Springs, gotten to the starting line, registered for the bike ride, and paid to rent this bike. This ride was on like Donkey Kong (even if I did have to get on a big contraption (which yes, I know is the point of a bike ride)).
I wheeled the bike toward the starting corral area and sat on it, trying to figure out how this whole balancing thing works. It was kind of a mess. I ran into this mom and her young daughter, Jeanette and Johannah, also doing the ride, and I asked them what the little numbers on the things on my handlebars mean. They said something about those things making it harder/easier to pedal. (I’m pretty sure that’s what they said, at least. I never adjusted those things…)
I spilled the beans to them that I didn’t know how to ride a bike. (Huge shocker, I’m sure). We talked about why I was doing the ride (more bling after my half), and Johannah said she was signed up for the 5k, but was thinking about doing the half marathon. Of course I was all, “well, if you’re gonna do 3 miles, I guess you might as well do 13, right?”
As the race drew closer, the ladies wished me the best of luck and said they hoped they’d see me at the finish to make sure I made it out alive.
When the ride started, I wondered how I was ever going to make it five whole miles. I was wobbling left and right, and I wasn’t super sure I was going to have the best control over where I was going.
I crossed the start line toward the back, trying to stay out of everyone’s way. Surprisingly, after the crowd thinned a little and we all had more space, I could balance!
I was shouting “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” to strangers who all probably thought “why is this grown up lady shouting about how she can ride a bike? We can all ride a bike. Duh.”
I am so unfamiliar with bike rides, I never had a feel for how many miles I had done. At any point in the ride you could’ve said I’d done one, or four, or ten, and I’d be all, “oh, okay.” There were no mile markers on the course (I guess that’s just how bike rides work, yes?) But, I was so concentrated on not dying (on not crashing and doing something awful to any important limbs for running…or hurting my face), that I didn’t focus too much on how far I had gone or how far I had to go.
There were a bunch of volunteers outside of stars’ homes, holding signs. You can see me (above) and a small part of Gina’s – a very nice volunteer’s – thumb. (The Aviator is my favorite movie and there I am outside of Howard Hughes’ house.)
As this post is getting long, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if I finished alive! (Spoiler alert: I’m still living…but did I finish?)