Jewish Journal

Its Just Like Riding a Bike! In My Case a Big-Wheeler…

by Julia Bendis

July 29, 2011 | 9:48 pm

The teenager in me is at it again!  Every time I pass a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, I have to stop, look at it, examine it and maybe even take a picture for my “wish list” of things I want on my future bike.  Sometimes I’ll even talk to the owner of the bike to get more details on the custom work done.

Now all this “research” would seem like a good idea for someone that already has a motorcycle license, and also knows how to ride a bike.  By “a bike”, I mean an actual bicycle.  However, when you can’t ride a bike down the street without falling off of it with every tiny bump in the road, or scream like a little girl when heading down a hill… how can that person consider riding an actual motorcycle?  And yes, that “person” I’m talking about is myself, of course.

My children have started to kindly ask if I’d like to stay home when they go bike riding.  That’s a big enough hint that they’ve been embarrassed enough by their Mom…  I really didn’t know how bad I was on a bicycle until one day I saw the faces of passerby’s as I rolled down a hill.

Picture this: A grown woman going down a hill on a bike at 0.5 mph.  I’m not exaggerating, at exactly 0.5 miles per hour.  Not only am I going down a steep hill at 0.5 mph, but also screaming at the same time.  I’m barely moving, but covered head to toe in protective gear just in case I fall off my 22-inch girls’ bike.  That’s not my only problem either.  I also don’t know how to turn, although I’ve been told by a credible motorcycle rider that you don’t necessarily need that skill, since all you do is LEAN on a motorcycle.  So, I figure its not that big of a deal when I’m riding a bike and come to a turn, instead of actually making a sharp 90 degree turn, I simply stop, get off the bike and turn it in the direction I need to go. Voila! Problem solved.

My only other issues are other bikers, stop signs, poles, and pedestrians.  Like a good bicyclist, I do not use the bike lane for the fear of getting hit by a car when I spin out of control because of a pebble on the road, which with my luck is very probable.  So instead I stay on the sidewalk, right alongside the other children, grandparents, people in wheelchairs and dogs.  When I am approaching another human being, whether on a bike or on foot I begin to panic and yell out really loudly: “oh s**t, oh crap, oh s**t, oh crap!” until that person is close enough to hear me, then I jump off my bike mid-ride without the use of brakes since it is a little girls’ bike and I’m pretty close to the ground, drop it and throw myself into the bushes.  Picture Phoebe Boufe on ‘Friends’, with her new bike that she doesn’t know how to ride.  Why would any sane person do that, you might ask?  Well, by now we all know I’m not sane.  The other reason is explained perfectly by my 11-year-old: “You are a professional at being an un-professional bike rider, Mom.”  I’m not too sure what that means, but probably very accurate…

And yet all this, somehow does not discourage me from looking and dreaming of my very own Harley one day soon, barring any unforeseen accidents involving me, my bike, and a possible cement pole…

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