how to ride a bike 101

Growing up, my family always vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard in Oak Bluff’s for a week or two. We always rented out the same waterfront cottage with its’ own steep, sandy staircase down to the lagoon. Many magical memories of bike riding to the busy streets to buy some fudge, candy, or go to the arcade and flying horses carousel live in my mind and heart. I used to dream of living on the Vineyard, and going to school out there.

When vacationing in a spot like MV it’s difficult to distinguish between tourists and true islanders. Before this summer I only imagined what it must be like living in such a touristy place. The islanders must be rich! Or famous… Or rich and famous!! They were cool nonetheless. There was a heightened aura about islanders; people who got to live in my dream vacation spot All. Year. Now that I’m living on a touristy island my perspective is a lot different.

Now don’t get me wrong. Peak’s Island isn’t a ridiculously sizzling hot spot for paparazzi and selfie-queens. Though the mass crowd that pours in seemingly each day and on the hour on weekends is impressively grand compared to the residential population. The full capacity on the ferries to Peak’s are either 400 or 500 people. There are about 3000 people living on Peak’s in the summertime. So when an extra 500 shows up, people notice. And on super hot days or holidays, like the 4th of July for instance, things get quite ridiculous. Just picture a 10 square mile island with hundreds of bikers. Tourists love bikes. And with Peak’s comes a bike rental shop. Grrrreat.

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Dis is my bootiful bike. I lahv it. I lahv it soooooo much

SO. I’m biking home (everyday) and half the bikers are wearing helmets and the other half aren’t. Sorry guys, but come on. It’s 2015. If you’re going faster than 10 mph you should be wearing a helmet. Idc if you think you look like a dork. Who you trying to impress that would judge you over safety?? Get some new friends.

And then there’s the whole which-side-of-the-road-is-for-bikers thing. Like… really mon? Bikers go with the cars, walkers go against the cars. Preeety simple if yask me. But they don’t ask me. They dumbly bike towards me while looking to the right staring open-mouthed at the ocean as if they’ve never seen it before. Okay, maybe they haven’t. But didn’t anyone teach you to look where yer going?? I mean, c’mon, I learned this skill in second grade. When I ran teeth-first into a metal bar on the playground when playing freeze tag and not looking where I was going. I suppose some of us are late bloomers.

Then we got the classic biking-side-by-side-with-multiple-people-pretending-to-be-deaf-until-the-words-excuse-me?-are-said situation. Pretty self explanatory. But necessary? Absolutely not. Why do people act SO surprised when I ride up behind them, trying to pass, saying excuse me, and respond negatively or dumbfoundedly. “Ohhh whoops!!! Sorry!!” It’s not always this reaction. Sometimes, usually the self-conscious teenagers, pick up on the road etiquette rules channelled from my aggravated body and don’t apologize, but say “hehehe well we ARE kindof in the middle of the road” to their mom or aunt or whatever. No honey, you ARE in the middle of the road. You are on the wrong side and not being aware of yourself. No kinda. No justifying or not owning up to your ignorant actions. Be a man. A woman, idc.

And if taking up the whole road isn’t bad enough, how about riding bikes on the sidewalk? Yes, I have been a hypocrite on this one before. In fact, I’ve probably done all of these before. I know I have. But it was when I was five years old. Sidewalk has the word “walk” in it for a reason. Because it’s a place we walk. It’s not the sideride. That’s called the bike lane, chumps.

Alright, almost done here. But then there’s riding uphill. Like, Peak’s doesn’t have difficult terrain. It ain’t no CDT. The highest elevation is only… probably 80something feet. Haha maybe 100. Aka SHORT. It’s not tall. The hills are small. Yet people can’t ride up them. But not because they’re out of shape. Well, not all of them. It’s because these people don’t know how gears on a bike work. In my opinion, if you don’t know when to use high or low gears, you shouldn’t be riding a bike. Not to sound crass, but serriously? When you’re on super high gears and trying SO hard  to pedal uphill, it kills me. I’ve actually had to ask people whether or not they’re in a low gear because their struggle was so dramatic. They weren’t, of course.

Because people don’t know how to ride bikes. Maybe somebody should create a how-to-ride-a-bicycle app. Someone probably already did. Yep.

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This is a picture of the book. But there’s an app that goes along with it.

Anyway. This post was supposed to be about how much joy I get from riding my bike… Maybe next post.
Cheers to all. Now go ride your bikes. After nap time and snack time.
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~*~
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