#MondayMusings : Rediscovering the joy of cycling

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.

19 responses to “#MondayMusings : Rediscovering the joy of cycling”

  1. I like cycling too. I used cycle extensively for my commute during college days.
    It is a fond memory of energy, speed, and youth. Nowadays, I am not able to
    get to use the cycle, but I would like to explore it if possible.

  2. I like cycling too. I used cycle extensively for my commute during college days.
    It is a fond memory of energy, speed, and youth. Nowadays, I am not able to
    get to use the cycle, but I would like to explore it if possible.

    http://liveandexpress.wordpress.com

  3. Ajay Kontham says:

    I cycle almost every day. You should let me know when you go on a cycling expedition, however small it is, I could definitely join.

  4. Huma Masood says:

    Reema, interesting topic to write about. Cycling is a wonderful workout. I used to cycle everyday growing up. I would still like to cycle. But Delhi is so congested. I miss doing it.

  5. I have extremely funny memories associated with cycling. Most of the times, I would walk down with the cycle beside me on the pretext of less air in the wheels. The truth was that I would have bumped into something or someone and met with a fall. A beautiful post that refreshed my memories

  6. I love cycling too… It’s good exercise and fun to ride. I miss those childhood days. Now, I have to buy a cycle.

  7. BellyBytes says:

    Brought back memories of scraped knees,punctured gyres and lots of happy memories cycling to school and friends’ homes. Growing up in Pune in the late 60s meant freedom to cycle everywhere. I wouldn’t dare walk in half these places now and riding a bike ? Haven’t done that in over 40 years now .

  8. Damyanti says:

    I cycled 5km daily to school and back. As an adult I’ve barely cycled much, but on the weekends I go cycle in the seaside park here in Singapore.

  9. Kala Ravi says:

    I guess most of us who learned cycling share similar memories of the terror we felt when our parents let go of us from behind. But the sense of freedom and accomplishment that came from knowing we actually did it….priceless. Lovely ride down memory lane Reems!

  10. Holly J says:

    I used to love cycling! Unfortunately, after two kids and a few decades, my center of gravity has changed. You may never forget HOW, but the balance is different! And I live in a very biker unfriendly town. We have high traffic roads and deep ditches, with no bike lane or shoulder or even a sidewalk.

  11. Natasha says:

    Funny I wrote a comment, but don’t see it. I’m glad your window was open on my Mac and I could return to comment again.
    Cycling is my passion and it’s something that gives wind to my wings. Your post had me smiling all the way. Took me back in time when I cycled to school and also all around the university campus, in my red BSASLR bike. 🙂

    I’m glad to be able to cycle in my city and have a bunch of avid cyclists for friends. I was in Banglore recently and so pleased to see so many people cycling around the city.
    Your post inspires me to write a post on cycling too.

    Thank you Reema.

  12. One of my neighbours taught me how to cycle and I am still grateful to her. I got a big scratch when I fell down once, but you can’t learn something without some pain.

  13. This bought back a lot of beautiful memories. My dad helped me in learning cycling but he never bought me one as he never wanted me to ride it on road and just stay safe.. Overprotective.. I know…

  14. I love cycling and I miss those days when I used to just take my brother’s bicycle and start riding it, without even telling my parents…I learned to cycle all by myself and that is probably the only thing which I can fully take credit of 🙂

  15. Monika says:

    lovely post which refreshed my memories . I also learnt it from my dad and had to face his anger , my fear and falls many times .

  16. Manpreet says:

    I recently got back to cycling too. I bought a bicycle and use it to go to the gym. Cardio done with bicycle… it’s effective and fun.

    Discovering new places in the city was my initial motive but I live in a small one and I don’t really feel safe venturing out alone on a bicycle… 🙁

  17. Dixita Mour says:

    Such a beautiful finding, teading your post makes me happy and I feel like you are a happy person who find joy in little things, keep cycling and keep writing

  18. Esha M Dutta says:

    Lovely post! Your post gently nudged me once more, Reema. You know, I’ve never learned cycling but have secretly always yearned for it. Especially when I see people cycling around here in Bangalore in spite of the busy traffic on the roads and yet seem to be enjoying it so much. My son has been very keen to get me started this year and hopefully, someday soon, I will be back to share my experiences with everyone on the blog.

  19. Mish, I have a vivid memory of learning the cycle, exploring so many places and then falling off a slope in Mangalore with 8 stitches on my hand! I love your memory of your father when he left the cycle. I can imagine what tiny Mish might have cried and shouted on her dad leaving her cycle!!

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