Sunday, May 22, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

So I did... keep moving.. into a hedge... then onto the pavement.  Splat!
Apparently, you never forget how to ride a bike.  But you definitely lose the expertise, mobility and courage.  Hubby and I purchased new bikes last week and with added seats for the children, basket for the front, I was feeling very 'European' and could not wait to have a leisurely cycle to the city.
"I want to ride my bicycle,

I want to ride my bike,
I want to ride my bicycle,
I want to ride it where I like!"

I had been practicing this Queen song in my head all week, so surely I was well prepared?  I took dibs on travelling with my son, presuming the 3kg weight difference between siblings could make all the difference to my thighs if we hit an incline.  So I strap him in real good, he is not going anywhere, poor thing is very excited "bike, bike, bike" and can barely see under his safety helmet, which is probably for the best, he can not see the nerves on my face.  "I think I will need to practice a bit" were the words to leave my mouth as my husband pushed off with daughter in toe.  I saw my husband wobble slightly, is that what i am supposed to do, wobble? As you know, husbands know best, so I mimick his actions, my bike wobbles.  This resulted in panic as I attempted to mount the high curb, (some may say it was not a high curb, but instead a smooth incline, do not listen to 'them', they are not the ones retelling the story).  So in my attempt to 'get air' over the extremely high curb, I ride into a hedge, and end up doing a slow motion fall to the ground, bike between my legs and son strapped into the back.  "Help.... help... help, help, help," started off mumured under my breath slowly, then increased to a quick squeal.

I now know that these bikes are heavy, especially when you are trying to lift it off the ground with a toddler still attached.  He was strapped in well, he didn't go anywhere!  Son was not overly impressed with this new bike thing, and was a little hesitant at my response of "Ta Da", I think he was a little unsure about the adventure ahead.... considering we had not even left the front gate of our apartment!

Needless to say, I am now nursing a bruised leg, wrist and ego, but determined to look like a cute European family, I climb back on the bike.  (I actually don't.  I walk the bike out the gate, accross the road and down the path.  When my husband asks me if we are planning on walking the children on the bikes all the way into town, then I climb back on.)  He was smirking at me for the rest of the day, and I am glad that the mental image of me falling off the bike 15 meters after I mounted it, brings him such happiness.  Afterall, I am here to entertain.  In an attempt for him to feel less guilty for his giggles, he did in return get his wheels stuck in the tram track and squealed like girl.  That makes me giggle.  Now we are even and can enjoy our day.

Our ride into Milan city centre, probably should of been 5 minutes, but took about 10, we were in no rush, and by the time we arrived at our restaurant, I had convinced myself that I had training wheels so the bike would not fall again. We had a lovely lunch at one of our regular restaurants, and the children ate well and entertained each other without breaking any glasses We climbed back on the bikes, now feeling a bit more confident with a couple of glasses of wine under our belts, (surely that would assist with the bike wobbles) and found ourselves on wide paths in the park. Yep, you guessed it... I had another moment. We all giggled riding next to each other, proclaimed our love for each other, everyone was smiling and we managed to maneuver around pedestrians without having to use the bell. I had an urge to sing "The hills are alive, with the sound of music!" Why I do not know because I wasn't on a hill, but it just reflected my happy feeling. The day ended with us all eating gelati, now I just need some flowers to decorate the front of my bike basket!

1 comment:

  1. Hello to the Gonzalez tribe!

    I hope you don't mind me getting in touch. I found your details on your website and I hope you might be able to help me with my strange request…

    I am a Producer working on a television show called House Hunters International which follows English speaking expats in their quest to purchase a house abroad. I wonder if you or any of your expat contacts might be interested in getting involved?! Please find a little blurb about the show below:

    House Hunters International is a half-hour program currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America.
    The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where buyers and their real estate agents tour 3 homes.

    At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    You can watch some examples of the show here: - London from South Africa (1600 series) - Dubai from Illinois (2000 series)

    Below is the 'shout out' we normally use - do you think it might be possible to include it on your site or in a news letter?

    If you are an expat and are currently looking for or have recently bought a home in England, 'House Hunters International' would like to put your story on TV!

    The hit US property and travel show is looking for energetic individuals, couples and families to share their story about moving abroad. Participating in our show is a lot of fun and a great way to document your exciting search for a home and new life abroad. Contributors should be fluent in English.

    If you are interested in participating with our show or learning more, please send an email to or call +44 20 7704 3300 . Please include your contact information, the locations you are moving from and to, and a picture of your family and your property.

    Please get in touch if you have any more questions about the show. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best wishes and many thanks,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter's Street, London N1 8JD - +44 20 7704 3300