I’m not the best at riding a bike. I mean, I can do it. On a level, concrete surface that doesn’t twist or turn too much. And doesn’t have too many people around. And if my backpack has even weight distribution.
Basically, I suck.
I didn’t learn to ride a bike as young as most kids do. Between my mom working crazy hours and my dad’s super bad knees, there just wasn’t anyone who could spend hours in a parking lot trying to get me to peddle. There was a guy who lived down the road who was willing to teach me.
He had been in a bad accident and didn’t have much use of one side of his body, but he could ride a bike like a fiend. I figured if he could ride with one good leg, surely I could do it with two! He had me meet him in the fire department parking lot and told me to wear overalls. I didn’t really know why, but I was so desperate to learn I figured it was best not to ask questions.
I got on the bike and he told me to peddle. In a second, I knew why he had wanted me in overalls. He grabbed me by the shoulder straps and, giving me the biggest wedgie of my life, held me up on my bike. It took a few hours, but I finally managed to peddle in a circle, at which point he pushed my bike out onto the road and told me to peddle or a car would hit me. I may have nearly died, but I did learn to ride a bike that day.
But I’ve never really gotten much better at it. I can ride my bike to work as long as I wear a helmet, cause really we should all wear a helmet, but now I have to ride my bike for work.
Playing the Wicked Witch means that I also play Miss Gultch, and Miss Gultch rides a bike. A bike that has a basket with a dog in it. It’s terrifying.
And today, while trying to get onstage, I ran the bike into a wall.
Luckily, Toto wasn’t in the basket, but still I hit a wall onstage. With a bike.
At least I can ride the bike well enough to (usually) make it onto the stage.
I know I could practice more, but the ground is hard, and my health insurance doesn’t work in this state.
So I’ll just do my best and muscle through it and wish I could find a way to go back in time and make my younger self learn how to do tricks on a bike…and a cartwheel.
New life goals:
Invent time machine.
Make former self learn to ride a bike and do cartwheels.
And maybe learn to dive off a diving board.
And get my driver’s license before 23.