Hey there, it's Jenny. When we decided to create sheKC, I knew we'd have guest bloggers and I knew exactly who NEEDED to be one of them. Katrina. She works with my husband. She is freaking hilarious and I love her style of writing! She is blunt, honest and as-real-as-it-gets. Sometimes she's angry. But, not in that mean sort of way. In that - ain't nobody got time for BS kind of way. She kinda has a potty mouth. I figured for her first post here, we'd keep cursing to a minimum, and by minimum I mean we took them all out. ha! I hope Katrina contributes often because I know you'll love her as much as I do. Super funny.
Written by: Katrina Crites
I don’t know how to ride a bike. Not 'bike' as in motorcycle. That would be understandable. I mean 'bike' as in bicycle. You know. That thing that everyone else learned how to ride when they were five.
Not for lack of trying, I promise. More like a lack of basic things like balance and patience. I grew up on a farm. It wasn’t as awesome as you might think it was; everything smelled like crap and was dirty. That farm was located on a gravel road and on that gravel road is where my poor mother tried to teach me how to ride.
A gravel road is the worst place possible to learn how to ride a bike. There are mounds of dirt, rock, sand, 'washboards', and those nasty goathead thorns which are basically land mines for bike tires and exposed skin. None of which lends to a smooth riding experience. Not that I would actually know what a smooth bicycle riding experience is since I never rode more than like five feet. The dirt and sand pulls you all over the place, especially when you weigh like 64 lbs and have the patience of an exhausted toddler and the poor woman, who is your mother, is trying and trying to teach you and you just can’t get the hang of it so you have some sort of temper tantrum because you’re frustrated at your stupid brother’s bike that you have to use and eventually she gives up out of sheer exasperation. I’m willing to bet I kicked the bike and swore under my breath. Repeatedly.
I didn’t give up trying though. Well, I mean I did for quite a while. My mom wasn’t still trying to teach me at 16 or 25 as she’d given up well before then. I’m probably lucky she didn’t throw the bike at me when I was a kid. Bless her.
When I went to college I managed to work up the courage to admit out loud to friends that I didn’t know how to ride a bike. I braced myself for some mean girl crap but these friends were the best, so they’d take me to the Topeka Hypermart in the middle of the night and attempt to teach me on the bikes from the sporting goods section. They’d push me down the aisles and I’d sway around and inevitably crash into something, like an end cap full of Preparation H and Tucks Medicated Pads. More than once we were asked to leave, but I never left injured, so there’s that. After many nights of trying, they gave up as well.
Fast forward about five years to the very last time I ever tried to learn how to ride a Godforsaken bicycle. Teaching me how to ride a bike became a Life Goal of my husband. He couldn’t understand how an able bodied adult had yet to learn how to ride so by God, he was going to teach me.
My husband had a fancy road bike that weighed like 14 ounces or something dumb like that and he determined this was the best tool to teach me how to ride. Keep in mind here that men’s bikes are constructed differently than women’s bikes. For example, there’s that long bar between the seat and the handlebars. I don’t know why it’s there, but it is.
One summer night, we had a few drinks and he decided it was the optimal time to teach me. You know, in the dark. While drinking. In the middle of our neighborhood street. He adjusted the seat and handle bars and after a few fits and starts, he got me going. He was really excited, thinking he’d been the special magician who got me to ride a bike once and for all. And I did. For about eight feet. And then I wobbled and stuck a leg out to stop myself on the street. And I went down, hard. Remember that bar between the seat and the handlebars? It racked me. Yeah, I’m a girl, but let me tell you, I saw flashes of bright lights akin to a meteor exploding right in front of us. I may have blacked out. I found myself curled up in the middle of the street in the dark, crying because I’d just been racked by my husband’s bike and it hurt like hell. He felt kind of bad about it but mostly he just laughed. But hey, at least there was no gravel or thorns to greet me when I fell. Just forgiving asphalt.
Like everyone else, my husband gave up trying to teach me. I’m unteachable. But it’s not like I want to learn at this point because as an adult, what on Earth do I need one for anyway? My kid isn’t into it anymore, and if he was, he’s way too cool to ride with mom. I have a car which doesn't require balance and not much patience. And it's faster than any stupid BMX. And no car I’ve ever had has racked me till I saw stars. So far, anyway.
Katrina Crites is a mother of one weird prepubescent kid, wife to a husband whom she adores except when he chews on ice. She has a love / hate relationship with running, adores winter and once thought overalls and Doc Martens were acceptable to wear in public. She lives in Olathe with her family of weirdos and knows if she didn’t have the ice chewer, she’d be a crazy cat lady.