“I Can’t Steer!” — “Ride, You’re on Camera!”

When I talk about learning how to ride a bike, I’m not exaggerating (even though many would say I have a flair for the dramatic). A few months ago, I thought it would be fun, so I  eventually took the plunge and bought my very own bike. I gotta say, I love my bike. It has an X-Small frame so it is very comfortable and I’m quite fond of the baby blue accents, which of course are accompanied by my baby blue helmet and gloves ;-)

Then I remembered. I didn’t ride a bike as a kid. So at 43, I am literally learning to start, stop, shift, break, and steer. My boyfriend of many, many years has been coaching me. And I gotta say, he has been amazingly patient and helpful, taking me through little obstacle courses around the school, coaching me on shifting around hills in my neighborhood, and guiding me on cadence.

A view of the lake - near the top of the treacherous trail

He said I was ready, so we made a date to pack up the bikes and head out. We went out east of Santa Margarita to the “Cold Canyon” trail, which is mainly dirt roads, some single track for his enjoyment,  several sandy washes, and a “greenhorn” amount of hills. The view at the top was lovely and I realized that we were at the back side of one of the fingers of Santa Margarita Lake. The elevation was a bit higher, so we enjoyed the pine and manzanita landscape and lovely rock outcroppings.

I waited a few days to watch this video — it’s a bit embarrassing actually, but funny nonetheless. Notice the very narrow path surrounded by the dangerous grassy meadow on both sides of me. You’d be scared too if you couldn’t steer ;-) But here it is, and surprisingly without profanity by either of us, cuz we both like to cuss a bit. (Listen carefully, that’s me giggling and saying, “I can’t steer!’)

The Little Victories All Count

Why? Because even a month ago, I wouldn’t have TRIED this ride!

  • I didn’t crash
  • I rode up and down every single hill
  • I tried a few safe, flat single tracks
  • I only shifted backwards half of the time
  • I began practicing a smidge with my front break
  • I only have one bruise (from one particularly spastic dismount)
  • I rode through all of the sandy washes (with some coaching)
  • I rode over a few rocks (in one area, he actually moved one of the big rocks so that I wouldn’t be too scared — HOW SWEET IS THAT?)
  • I rode for 2.5 hrs (including snack and water breaks) ! (Note: Avg heart rate of 150 for 2.5 hrs – so that is DARN GOOD!)

Branden (aka Bike Coach) - Smile for the Camera!

And special thanks to my coach – for moving rocks and encouraging me towards the top of each hill. He also said that he was proud that I tried everything and never said “I can’t.” (He later admitted that he expected me to walk through some of the obstacles.) Note: We forgot to take a pic of me, but I supposed the video counts, eh?

And remember… this is all part of my public goals (sigh)…

Anyone else out there learning how to ride a bike?
Any silly stories?

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  1. spabettie says:

    you are SO cute !! :) I love this post – and HURRAY for no crashing! :D

    I know how to ride a bike… but… I cannot swim. and I you are a bigger person than me – I don’t want to !!

    • krismoconnor says:

      Well thank you! Yes, the no crashing is a plus LOL – he said later he thought I “might” – at which time I gave him a curious look…. Swimming is very hard… I need boards and stuff to make it across the pool. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. krismoconnor says:

    OK – Branden and I sat around and cracked up at this. It is really bad. He can’t believe I actually posted it. And you think… How could she have an avg HR of 150 doing that? In my own defense, most of it was harder. This particular shot is particularly goofy because the path is so narrow! Geesh! I’m just learning LOL

  3. Pamela says:

    Love it! Adorable – great story. Stick with it & you’ll be an “addict” in no time!

    • krismoconnor says:

      Thanks Pamela! It is quite embarrassing and Branden was MORTIFIED that I posted it. (That said, he asked to watch it over and over about 10 times LOL.) Thanks so much for stopping by – it’s been fun to share ;-)

  4. You are so much braver than most people! Good for you!

    • krismoconnor says:

      Ah – thanks Heather! I’m not brave at all – I very much have sissified tendencies – hehehe. I am well coached – Branden has been so sweet and patient through all this. Encouraging me little by little to go out of my comfort zone – not too much, so I can be successful. Yesterday I rode off curbs ;-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. cassie says:

    you have totally made it easy for me to admit to the world that i to do not know how to ride a bike.. my husband always jokes and says what kind of childhood did i have for me to not know how to ride a bike.. i had an awesome childhood it just didn’t include riding a bike :-) believe it or not i have 4 sisters and only one knows.. i have a baby now and i am pretty sure she might learn before i do.. i have tried several times but it hasn’t stuck with me yet… kudos to you..

    • Kris says:

      YAY! I have to admit it’s been sort of goofy embarrassing fun! That said, my BF+ has sooooooo much patience and although he giggles with me and rolls his eyes often, he’s mostly patient and supportive! I dunno… maybe you might want to try it? But you are in the city – hmmm – are their safe paths around?

  6. Umm…. I’m 51, and about to find out… I’m terrified!
    Foodie McBody recently posted..A Strange Case of Exercisophobia


  1. [...] quizzical glances and smiles as I sing, smile, and snap down the sidewalk.) Let us not forget my 2.5 hr bike ride — that certainly made a dent [...]

  2. [...] In order to dispel any possible rumors about my being a robot or really clever twitterfeeder, here’s a pic of me and my new bike. Isn’t it pretty? It’s x-small, super comfortable, and for the most part, I feel relatively safe on it. (If you’re curious about my literally learning how to ride a bike, you can see my embarrassing video.) [...]

  3. [...] “I Can’t Steer!” – “Ride, You’re on Camera” <video> [...]

  4. [...] Heck, I don’t even consider myself a blogger, let alone a fit one! After all, I’m just learning how to ride a bike, don’t know how to cook, and ended up in the emergency room with chronic dehydration. But [...]

  5. [...] a bike. I just got a pretty bike and have been learning with my BF+ as a VERY patient coach <View Embarrassing Video of My Stellar Steering Skills>. So when I heard about the bike ride, I was stoked! I mean, I’ve practiced, I know how to [...]

  6. [...] I Can’t Steer – Ride You’re on Camera [...]

  7. [...] be kind and hide his astonishment, but I know THAT look in his eyes. Just like his horror with my learning how to ride a bike, he couldn’t imagine how such a capable person could be so bad at something so [...]

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