I’m 20 and still can’t ride a bike

It’s a character flaw, but I don’t care

bicycle bike can't cars do experience it liverpool riding

It’s up there with the most important developmental stages you learn in early life. Walking, talking, swimming, riding a bike…I have the first three down, but the last one causes me problems. I never learnt to ride a bike, and I have no intention of trying.

I understand the concept.  I can ride an exercise bike. When I was younger I could ride a bike with stabilisers. I’ve even ridden a trike before. But as soon as you put me on two wheels that aren’t attached to the floor of a gym, I panic, flail, and fall off, usually resulting in a bruise (or four).

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I may be smiling but on the inside I’m screaming

It’s not like I haven’t tried. My summers are filled with my dad dragging my older brother’s rusty old bike out of the back garden, desperately trying to fill the flat tyres, and presenting it to me with an exasperated mumble of “just give it a go.” This usually results in a bruised shin and an even more bruised ego. So I slink back inside, accepting my fate as a non-cyclist.

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Gracefully mounted and ready to ride

As someone who is naturally incredibly clumsy (this is the girl who’s broken her wrist falling down three stairs) trying to balance on a tiny seat, destined to tip at any moment, is a daunting task. It is one that I am subjected to every time a friend decides that they’re going to be the one to finally teach me. After watching me struggle and trip for several minutes, they too become convinced that bike riding is not for me.

jenn on bike

Even a seasoned bike rider struggles sometimes

But am I really missing out? On the few days of the year that it’s warm enough to enjoy a bike ride, wouldn’t you much rather be doing other things, like drinking Rosé and sunbathing? It’s that or getting hot and sweaty with a bike seat between your legs. If I rode a bike to uni, I’d get there flustered and windswept, and miss out on the joy of the 699 at 8:30 in the morning.

There’s a reason motor vehicles were invented: it was to help out people like me. Two wheels bad, four wheels good.