I’m not a natural cyclist – at least that’s one thing I grasped pretty early on in my lessons. My body is as aerodynamic as a cow in soup, my legs flail of their own accord and my centre of gravity is as off kilter as my outlook. In short, it’s like teaching an octopus kung fu.
My suspicions were confirmed when – at the start of my second lesson – my poor teacher eventually admitted that never in all her years of cycling instruction had she seen bruises like those I had been developing since last week’s efforts. To say she was incredulous would suggest there was an element of disbelief; no, despaired would probably be a more accurate choice of words. Neither of us had realised just how tangled up in the bike my legs were becoming, each for very different reasons: my tutor because she was confident in my abilities and me because I had no idea that mangling one’s pins in the mechanism wasn’t part of the overall cycling process.
Regardless, we pushed on with the lesson, trying inventive new ways to distract my awkward limbs from their merciless campaign of tripping and floundering. I suffered, however, from an inexcusable lack of practice. Cycling apparently isn’t a skill I can master by thinking or even reading about it, and I just didn’t put the training hours in over the week. I spent most of the lesson just trying to remember what I had almost learned the week before, which was a real waste of my teacher’s time.
So I ended my second lesson not much further on – in both location and ability – than when I started it. And with my tutor moving on to a new job, it looks like I’ll have to disappoint someone else with my efforts next time. Practice though is my only chance of improving and I’ll definitely have to make the time to fall off the bike again at some point this week.
At least one good thing came of my second lesson though: the fresh new layer of bruising has almost completely hidden the old one.