Does anyone else have a problem with these moving contraptions? Am I the only person who struggles to coordinate alighting or disembarking from these things?
For some reason, gravity loses interest in me and I struggle to stay on my feet. As I step on to escalators I wobble dangerously. And as I near the top of the escalator, paranoia grips me… “Do I step now? Or now? If I make my move now will it result in an extra big and awkward step?”
I trip over the top of the escalators often. Of course, if I move too soon, I manage to look like the escalator spat me out, right into the food court or in front of Stuttafords, or somewhere similarly populated. And don’t even get me started on broken escalators… how is possible to get motion sickness from a moving-item-that-isn’t-currently-moving? Am I alone there too?
To be fair, I’m nothing like Loesch, who managed to get her untied shoelace stuck in the top of an escalator, resulting in a very unladylike dismount… but that’s another story entirely.
This morning my father woke me up at 5:30am (AM. The birds hadn’t even taken their first poep) to ask if was interested in going for a bike ride. I need at least 12hours warning for such invitations so at first I was disinclined to acquiesce to his request. But then I decided I was awake, so what the hell…
And hell it was.
Not that we went far. It’s not the distance that’s the problem – I’m fine once I’m on the bike. It’s getting on the bike that I struggle with.
Let’s re-visit why I’m even trying to ride a bike... I’m (hopefully) going to be in the Netherlands soon and I’m (definitely) going to be required to ride a bike. In order to not look like a completely foreign arse, I would like to be able to alight and dismount from a bike with relative ease.
Dutch cyclists don’t do the whole push-start thing. They don’t place their butts on the saddle and then push themselves forward. They jog gently next to the bike and then swing themselves when it’s already in motion. Effortless and graceful.
There is an exception to the rule, when they’ve got another person sitting on the back of the bike, because obviously, swinging graceful leg over bike would entail knocking passenger from their mount. But – note to self – as the passenger, you’re actually not supposed to sit like a princess on the back of the bike while it’s still stationary.
This is what’s supposed to happen: cyclist does the hop-hop-swing dance to get bike going; passenger jogs along next to bike and gently plops their butt down at the appropriate time. Perfection.
This is what happened with me and my friend’s boyfriend when I was visiting them in Amsterdam: he went hop-hop-swing and pedaled gently, waiting to feel my weight landing on the back of his bike. After about 100m he turned around to realise that I was still standing where he’d left me, staring in disbelief. He turned around, stopped bike, I sat down, and he was forced to push-start, dragging both my weight and his weight. Inertia is a bitch.
Anyway, back to this morning. So I’m not quite waxing the whole hop-swing-thing. First, you get the bike going, then you place one foot on the (corresponding) pedal. Then you balance for a bit, then you swing leg over bike. Simple.
Here’s my problem: I keep putting my damn right foot on the left pedal and vice versa. As my dad points out, this would suit me well if I was in the circus and training to ride a bike backwards, but…
Let’s just say, I’m not a natural on two-wheels.