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It’s just like riding a bike … or is it?

by Jessica Baxter, Real Home Truths
Baby Yum Yum - It’s just like riding a bike … or is it
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It’s Sunday evening and instead of nursing my well-deserved glass of wine, I am nursing what I am convinced is a sprained wrist and a very bruised bum.

Having decided to do more exciting things with my kids – the park is starting to lose its appeal – we went for a family bike ride. My daughter at just shy of five is an absolute pro on the bike – no fairy wheels needed. My son, at three-and-a-half, has just learnt how to ride his pedal bike and, it must be said, is a lot more confident on two wheels than I am.

Despite popular opinion, riding a bike isn’t all that easy when you’ve not done it in years. Seriously. Me trying to figure out how to get on the damn thing never mind find my balance is what all good memes are made of. Of course, not being able to reach the ground (the perils of being five foot) didn’t help matters. In fact, I looked so unsteady on the bike that my son even suggested I try with fairy wheels first. Talk about throwing shade!

With a lot to prove, I set off with the kids for our “gentle” ride and despite my initial reservations, I was quite enjoying myself – granted I was riding with my hands permanently positioned on the brakes and at the slowest pace known to man. Having made it to the clubhouse, I felt pretty confident I could navigate the slightly narrower footpaths along the estate grounds so we ventured off on the scenic route home. Big mistake.

“With a lot to prove, I set off with the kids for our ‘gentle’ ride and despite my initial reservations, I was quite enjoying myself…”

My daughter went ahead determined to beat us home and my son stuck with Mommy  – no doubt to ensure I made it home in one piece. Well, I almost did. Until we got to a particularly hairy bend and I began to lose my balance. I came off the bike in spectacular fashion ­(thank goodness there were no CCTV cameras to capture the moment) and face-planted very ungracefully into a lavender bush. At least it wasn’t the dam on the other side. One should be grateful for small miracles.

As if I wasn’t embarrassed enough, my son turned to me horrified and said: “Mommy, I don’t think you should ride this bike anymore.” Agreed. Not this bike or any other bike for that matter!

Of course, I need to parent by example right, so I brushed off the twigs and soil and got back on the bike. When I arrived home I looked a little worse for wear but my epic fail on our little cycling expedition did provide much amusement and was a good distraction when a few minutes later, my son took a tumble off his bike. Nothing like comparing your “owie” to your child’s to make them feel a little better.

Needless to say, I am now on the hunt for a different activity to do with the kids – swimming is out. I hate cold water. And I am almost certain I will be even less competent in the pool than I am on the bike. Perhaps trail running?


Jessica is a writer and editor from Cape Town – and a mom of two young kids. When she’s not working or running after her two little ones, she writes about the mess and the magic of motherhood, sharing her parenting journey, one faux pas at a time. Follow her on Instagram @realhometruths

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