“It’s just like riding a bike”

Posted on: October 13, 2012

What a dumb saying. Riding a bike is SO NOT EASY.

To back up – I was in Swaziland for work the past few weeks. It is a beautiful country. Just beautiful. I had no idea how mountainous and gorgeous it really is (pics to follow).

We had Saturday afternoon free, so my coworker and I decided to climb the little mountain behind our hotel. Remember when I climbed Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh? Yeah… this was just like that. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. How can I go to the gym and kick ass there but when it comes to being one with nature, I feel like my lungs are going to explode?? It’s so embarrassing…

Anyway, we went on a walk/hike to a plateau where I followed behind and breathed so freaking hard, I thought he might have to carry me back down.

Let’s list the people who can climb things (including sand dunes, hills, and small mountains)  better than I can:

1) Children

2) Smokers

3) Pot-heads

4) Old people

5) People with no cartilage in their knees

6) Fat people

7) Everyone


So then, because this weekend of athleticism was never going to end, we went to Hlane National Park on Sunday. The first thing we did there was take a 2 hour bike ride through the “Impala Section” of the park. The park is set up in parts- they use electric fencing to separate the animals from each other. So think of a bulls-eye – the outer most circle is the impala section, then there’s the rhino and elephant section, and then in the center of the bulls-eye, is the lion section. They swore that the animals didn’t get into the other areas of the park because of the fencing.

This is a country that suffers blackouts. W.T.F. I didn’t really believe them.

Anyway, it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve been on a bike. Possibly more. I have NO desire to ever get on a bike. But my coworker thought it’d be fun and I figured I should try something new, so I said I would do it.

I spent two hours trying not to fall of the stupid bike. I have bruises on my inner thighs cause the stupid seat was too big for me. The bike was also just slightly too tall, so I could only reach the ground on my very tippy toes, meaning I had to fall a bit before I could even catch myself.

Guys… I trip over my own feet. I run into things just walking. HOW CAN I STAY ON A BIKE?

Turns out I can’t, really. I only fell for real once, but that was enough. Just somehow leaned over to the left and down I went. I caught myself, but scratched up my legs, of course.

And do you know how dangerous it is to bike in the bush?!!? There’s fucking Impala poop EVERYWHERE. HUGE PILES. I rode through those and did not fall, thank god. Then, on the side of the dirt roads are thorny bushes. THORNY BUSHES.

I came dangerously close to falling in that. And then what? Airlift to South Africa? I totally pictured myself dying on this fucking bike ride.  And… all I could think of was this video. Seriously. Every damn herd of impala we passed (and monkeys) I thought one was just going to clip me. I couldn’t even look around because I was so busy concentrating on staying upright and out of poop, the bush, and embarrassment.

AND… what if there was a lion in the area?!!? I WAS LITERALLY MEALS ON WHEELS. Literally. Was I going to out-ride a lion? NO. I was not.

BUT! Miracle of miracles! I FINISHED IT! With only some bruises and scratches and SUPER SORE LEGS to show for it! Hell, that’s a win for me.

So we went and dropped our bikes at the front of the park and I asked the guide, “Did you think I was going to die?”

And he goes, with no hesitation, “Yeah.. I definitely did not think you would make it.”


Bikes of Doom


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