I first tried to cycle when i was 12. Someone held to the back of my bike to keep me steady as i tried to figure it out. It failed. Some told me to go downslope, i fell. That exercise was repeated many times, when i was 14, 18, 21… i suffered plenty of falls, bruises, and sprained ankles. I thought my inner centre of gravity was out of sync when you put me on 2 wheels. That i was destined not to cycle.
I had cyclist envy in Paris, Beijing, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and all those other cities where they have lovely bicycle lanes, and i was the one keeping my friends from joining bike tours. So i decided to give it a shot again in my 30s, to gear up for a city cycling tour in the States. This time round, Fai was my coach. And unlike any of my previous coaches, he came up with a special bicycle that i could use whenever i feel like it, to figure out my balance. There was no pressure, no one standing behind me dishing out generous amounts of encouragement, no crowded afternoons at East Coast fighting for space with kids and roller bladders etc. I took the special bike out 3 times, for half an hour each, got some advice from Fai and voila! a moment of eureka.
It’s quite exhilarating to figure it out as an adult cycler, so if like me, you were in despair, i say don’t give up yet, and give it a few more tries in a relaxing environment.