Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sheer Terror

Yesterday, I experienced my greatest London trauma to date.

I rode a bicycle on the streets of London.

Well, on some side streets in a residential borough of London. My hubby has been riding his bike for months now. Cyclists are everywhere. It can't be that hard, right?

Let me elaborate on my reality:
1. I borrowed a friends bike. (Not just any bike. An adorable vintage style bike that looks basically like this.)
I know, right? Seriously, how could this not turn out amazing? I imagined riding along in a cute sundress, with a basket of flowers, and my hair blowing in the wind. Then I remembered its November, so I re-imagined myself riding with a cute winter coat, skinny jeans, fingerless gloves, a hat, and my scarf flying in the wind. Still pretty exciting.
However... its heavier than most bikes, and the curved handlebars and basket make it a bit more wobbly. Also, said friend is a bit taller than I-- something I hadn't notice till repeatedly trying to get up on the (unpadded) seat. My bum is still complaining today.
2. Traffic is on the wrong side of the road. Ok, the left side of the road. This one I'd prepared for. I've worked hard to notice traffic patterns and intersections. However the idea of opposing traffic making right turns (ie: left turns in America) still frightened me.
3. I haven't ridden a bike in over a decade. Unfortunately, I didn't remember this till after my excursion. If I had, I might have taken some more time to practice. They say it all comes back to you.

They lie.

I survived, which is a sort of success. And I reminded myself (about every 100 feet) that everyone has to have a first time. And God was gracious enough to give light traffic most of the ride. But it was terrifying. Every stoplight meant having to reprocess traffic laws, remember which side of the road to turn onto, get back up on the (hard) seat, straighten out my front tires so as not to hit the parked cars in front, swerve violently to avoid the cars careening up behind me, and then remember to continue pedalling. It was exhausting. I also realised about halfway through my journey that the bike was in high gear, which probably contributed to the botched cross-traffic turn I couldn't get up to speed for, which resulted in my facing the lane of oncoming traffic till I frantically waved at the oncoming car and promptly took myself and my fancy bike to the sidewalk, where I walked it for the remainder of my journey.

I'm still trying to decide whether or not to try it again.

On a happier note, here are some pictures from the hubby's birthday week! Much fun was had by all!

A big shout out to Rodrigo and Isabella for a great lunch out! It made us laugh that 2 Brazilians and 2 Americans were being served by an Italian waitress at a Cuban restaurant in England. It sounds like a bad joke!

Then the birthday boy and I made potica- a traditional Slovenian Christmas sweet bread recipe passed down through families. Its a November tradition!

Love you, baby! So glad to celebrate another birthday with you!

1 comment:

  1. And it always turns out better than mine! Even in London! Not fair!