#MondayMusings : Rediscovering the joy of cycling
The cloudy Saturday morning doesn’t dampen my spirit. There is wind in my hair as I stop pedalling while going down a slope. The rains from the previous night have washed the roads clean and I seek to explore the inner streets of the locality that I live in. Being a Saturday morning, it is quieter than usual as the city hasn’t woken up like it would on say a Monday morning. There is a certain joy, a certain sense of freedom while I keep moving from one street to the next. It has been a long time since I did this and it feels liberating. A faint sensation of memories comes by and the feeling is bittersweet. Though the memories are happy ones, they bring a sense of pain. But I know I should be strong and I pedal on.
Cycling is something that I enjoyed during my growing up years. I got my first cycle with training wheels when I was 5. Gradually those training wheels had to move and for a while, my dad used to hold the back of the cycle as I pedalled along. This was a usual routine after school. And one day just like any another day I kept pedalling and I was talking about something to my dad and I realized that he hadn’t responded to what I was saying. I turned around and searched for him, he was a few meters away smiling at me. But I felt scared, angry and betrayed. No prizes for guessing what happened next.
I fell down and hurt my knee. Though my dad came running to pick me up, I was still angry with him for letting go. I still remember crying and he was trying to pacify me by telling me how I had learnt how to cycle without the training wheels and I had managed to cycle for a distance. But I would take none of that. It took me a while to get back to cycling because of the hurt and most importantly my fear of falling again though my parents kept egging me not to give up. After a few days, I saw the other kids in my colony cycling around and I wanted to do it too. With some new found enthusiasm that was hidden in an unknown corner, I asked dad if we could go cycling again. And off we went! I told myself that I could do it and this time I didn’t talk to dad. I focused all my attention on cycling and then I didn’t know when dad let go. After a certain point, I knew pretty well that my dad wasn’t holding the cycle anymore. That was the beginning!
There was no turning back since then. I used to cycle regularly. Cycling became my mode of transport to school when my mom felt I was old enough to deal with the traffic. I’ve had so many memories associated with cycling that when I rented out a cycle to go cycling after almost a decade, I felt those memories coming back to me. When I learnt how to cycle that day all those years ago, I also learnt lessons for life. Often we unknowingly do things that we think that we don’t think we are capable of. We do those things well until we look back and realize that we’ve been alone. Our self-confidence wavers- not because we can’t do something but because we don’t believe that we could. We feel angry and betrayed because someone who guided us let go so. That is what makes us fall!
Lessons aside, cycling to me brings joy and I’ve decided to cycle when I can. At least as long as the weather and my health permit me I will cycle! And yes, there is the Bangalore traffic that makes it difficult – yet I have weekend mornings, tiny streets and lovely lakesides to pedal, to feel liberated from the chaos of the week!
How did you learn to ride a bicycle?
Linking this to Monday Musings at Everyday Gyaan.