Cycling Stories

It’s Like Riding a Bike?

May 7, 2020

It’s Like Riding a Bike?

Know the expression: “It’s like riding a bike?” Once you learn how, you never forget, right? “Just do it,” says Nike. But I can’t anymore.

In 2007, I had a stroke in Sydney, Australia, and only one side of me works anymore. Which was OK during my four months of rehab, where my favorite exercise was on the cycling machine. The therapist would push my chair up to it and set a program, so  I could enjoy pedaling with my eyes closed, arms dangling to my sides, perfectly balanced. Not wobbling. 

My mind drifted to Sydney’s Centennial Park, where, years before, my husband and I taught our daughter to ride her first ‘big girl” bicycle. Dappled sunlight under a canopy of trees guided our way around the bicycle path, which was just outside the horse and pony path. 
 
Decades before, I pretended my first cobalt blue bike, with its white plastic basket rimmed with plastic yellow daisies, was my pony, which I rode to and from school every day. Each night, I’d put it away in the barn, to protect it from Seattle, Washington’s incessant rain. 

During college in Connecticut, I rode my bike to pick apples at a nearby farm.

At my first job in New York City, I once rode to a Diana Ross Concert in Central Park after work. I had to abandon a friend when a mini stampede formed during an unexpected downpour, which cancelled the concert and twisted by bicycle’s frame terribly.

Now, I look at the birds through our bedroom skylight in London, and see them flap, flap, flap, flapping their wings and then soaring off. Like pump, pump, pumping a bike’s pedals, and then gliding away! 

Since surviving a massive stroke and cancer diagnosis, Wendy David Beard has been writing full-time for 13 years. Previously, she founded a freelance company that helped non-profits raise funds.

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