Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Balancing Act

Potholes are a pain in the ass. This is not a recent revelation - it's terrible to hit one while you're in your car - but I'm speaking literally here. When you're riding a bicycle, every bump that you hit hurts your behind. During my cycle with Francois yesterday, I really started getting nervous about the big bumps in the road... Because the longer you ride, the more sensitive you are to every stone that you bounce over and every hole that you drop into. I was starting to hurt.

I have a comfy silicone seat cover...
Not comfy enough!
Once I started paying proper attention to the deeper holes in the road, I tried lifting myself off the seat just a little bit to minimize the impact, but I couldn't lift up enough to make too much of a difference. That's when Francois suggested that I figure out how to stand up while riding my bike. He showed me how to position my feet, explained that I should lock my knees into place for better balance, and waited for me to give it a go.

Well, I tried, at least. A few times! I didn't give up too easily. But for some reason, I just couldn't lift myself up and balance nicely on my pedals. At first, I thought that my legs were just too tired, or a little too weak, or that I just needed a lot of practise and would get it eventually. They were all logical assumptions. But the answer was actually in my bicycle.

Because I'm still very uncertain with my bike and have only recently figured out how to ride, I've left my seat fairly low down. This allows me to climb onto the seat, balance with one foot on the ground, and then push off on the pedal with my other foot. I start with my bum firmly on the seat every time. That's all good and well, until you want to stand up on your bike... My leg doesn't straighten completely when I push the pedal all the way to the bottom, so standing automatically becomes a much trickier feat to accomplish. Without that straightened leg helping me to balance and then distribute my weight between my two legs, it became nearly impossible to lift my body weight.  There we go, it suddenly all made sense!

The pesky pedals that I need
to learn how to stand on...
It would be perfect if I could tell you that I adjusted my seat, started riding and 'voila!' managed to stand and cycle. One problem, though... By the time I realised how to fix things, I was super tired and just wanted to make my way back home. No seat adjustments, no victorious standing on pedals, none of that. I made it home, flopped onto the grass defeated, and gave up for the day.

It's still all positive, though. I learnt quite a few things during that ride:
1: That I had a problem. (My sore bum!)
2: What I need to do to fix that problem. (Standing up while going over bumps.)
3: How to adjust things so that it's actually possible to achieve my goal. (Raising my seat. Obviously.)

When we go for another cycle on Monday or Tuesday, I'll change the height of my seat and give the whole standing up thing another shot. Hopefully, with my new information and adjustments to my bike, I'll manage to perform the balancing act that will save my behind from certain doom.

P.S. I was going to point out the way that this relates to other aspects in life, like balancing work and leisure and things like that, but Francois said that he'd tease me about it if I did. So I didn't. But I kind of did, by telling you about that in this Post Script. So yeah... Balance is important and stuff! Okay. I'm done now.

1 comment:

  1. Balance and stuff! Very funny. But of course, one must always make every effort to save one's behind from certain doom... ;-)