Wish me luck tomorrow as I pick out a new bicycle that I don’t know how to ride yet. I’m a grown woman who can’t ride a bike, and don’t really want to but when in Rome…
Belgium, like much of Europe, is a biking / cycling culture and there are bike lanes everywhere and possibly more than there are roads for cars. I don’t have a driver’s license for many reasons, but most of all because I can’t drive. I drive badly. Me and driving just were never meant to be. So I will try to learn to ride a bicycle at the age of thirty-seven.
It was just about 30 years ago my parents bought me a bicycle for my birthday. I remember it was pink with white flowers, with a white basket with pink flowers on the front it and it had a bell. That shiny proud loud bell that sounded just perfect to my seven-year-old ears, but I never learned to ride that bike because shortly after my birthday something so bad happened to me that my parents basically never let me play outside again. This is true.
So my pretty pink bicycle sat in the hall closet all through that fall and winter then spring and summer and longer and longer, because I’d had a bubble placed around me by my parents. I neither played outside nor in the lobby of my building, and I certainly never got to go riding around the neighborhood on my new bike because my sexual abuser still lived nearby. That bike eventually got sold at a flea market sale years later and nobody missed it, least of all me.
So fast forward to my life now, where i’m a wife and a mother and this, that and the other I still can’t ride a bike. I had no intention of ever learning to ride one, until I ended up moving somewhere that bikes are a part of daily life. I don’t think about that year I got my first bike very often, because life does get busy as life does go on, but tackling my fear of bikes and bike riding in general will begin tomorrow.