Roasted Keyboard


What Learning To Ride A Bike Taught Me About Life

It was in 2001 that I learnt to ride a bike. I was 14.

Yes, you read that right, LEARNT to ride a bike at 14. While most of my friends had probably learnt to ride a bike when they were about 5 to 6 years of age, I didn’t, and I have a perfectly good explanation for that.

I am afraid you see; afraid of falling, afraid of losing my balance and afraid to not be in control. That’s partly the reason behind my hydrophobia. I am petrified of large bodies of water and I try to avoid swimming as much as possible. I need to feel solid ground beneath my feet to not be anxious.

So you can imagine how I must’ve felt when my dad gifted me a bike on my 14th birthday. I asked him, ‘you are joking, right?’

He wasn’t.

My parents wanted me to learn how to ride a bike. Not because it is an oh so essential life skill that I can’t do without, rather, they wanted me to overcome my fear.

I made excuses at first. Tried to not look at the bike because I thought that will make my parents realize how much I didn’t want to learn how to ride one. But that’s not how life works. Sometimes you just have to do things that you don’t want to do and sometimes you are made to.

That’s exactly what happened.

It was a hot summer day, I had just come back from school and my mum was waiting outside our apartment with THE bike. I looked at my mum and said, ‘Nice! are you going for a ride?’ She gave me the death stare and replied, ‘No…but we are.’, in a tone that let me know that she meant business.

And we did.

I wish I could say, I got on to that bike and rode away into oblivion and everything was fine and dandy… except, it wasn’t.

We slowwwwwlllyyyyy (like a pair of tortoises) made our way to the neighbourhood basketball court. Oh that damned basketball court, I still remember it. I tried to resist it as much as possible. Tried to cry, tried to reason with my mother but she wouldn’t have any of it! She was hell bent on making me learn how to ride one and she did.

I was not even allowed to drink water till I learnt how to ride one.

Before the day came to an end, I knew how to maintain my balance on a bicycle! Sure I didn’t know how to turn corners but you know what they say, practice makes perfect!

Long story short, there are going to be a lot of things in your life that you are going to be afraid of. You are going to resist them, hate them, try to make up excuses for not wanting to do them. But you know what’s easier? Learning to master it, learning to master your fears.

Is there something that you have always been wanting to or meaning to do but never got the chance to because it scared you practically sh*tless? You know when will be a good time to do them?


Take the leap and fake it till you make it.

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46 comments on “What Learning To Ride A Bike Taught Me About Life

  1. darlenecraviotto
    July 9, 2012

    OMG! This is such a perfect piece you wrote! I wish I could “like” it a hundred times, that’s how good it is. Plus, it’s true! Sometimes you can take little baby steps to master a fear, and other times a fear can be mastered in one big giant leap. But the key is to find YOUR WAY of mastering the fear so that the fear doesn’t master you.

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 9, 2012

      Thank you Darlene! I am not quite there yet but I am getting there! :) You are awesome!

      I have just finished reading your book! :D

      I am going to send you an email right about now!

  2. Hannah@ Bake Five
    July 9, 2012

    I think you found your voice (:

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 9, 2012

      I hope so Hannah! I hope I can maintain it ;) we should talk sometime this week maybe? :)

  3. khalid27halid
    July 10, 2012

    Bloody Brilliant. Thank you for putting a smile on my face and a glint in my eye

  4. juliearduini
    July 10, 2012

    My favorite post so far, you’ve hit a nerve we all can relate to, and hopefully gave us the courage to just do it. My daughter has coordination and other health issues, so she is still not riding a bike, and I fear for her sometimes.

    As for me, I’m scared about the next step writing wise, because deep down I know this just might go somewhere. Weird, I know!

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 11, 2012

      All the best Julie! You write wonderful posts!

      Oh I hope your daughter will learn to ride one soon and that she will overcome all her fears and health issues :) Much love to you!

  5. sheila7697
    July 10, 2012

    Oh, I’m a huge believer in the last statement! Fake it till you make it! Works in so many areas of life! Glad you overcame, and it gave you a wonderful post to share! Love the look! ~ Sheila

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 11, 2012

      Thank you Sheila!

      Is there something that you have been wanting to do? I would love to read about it! x

  6. jensine
    July 10, 2012

    so agree … no fears right no I can battle but lots of thing I don’t want to do :-)

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 11, 2012

      Go ahead and do them! No time like now!

      Good luck! :)

      • jensine
        July 11, 2012

        that is true and I am … my to-do list is getting shorter every day

  7. t
    July 11, 2012

    This was beautiful. Stunning, in fact.

    I’ve come across some very bad times as of late, and you are exactly right. I will “fake it till I make it,” because practice does make perfect. Thank you, Love =]

  8. Pete Howorth
    July 11, 2012

    I learnt when I was about 6, one of my neighbours taught me how to do it. :) I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motor bike but I can’t bring myself to do it. My dad had a Harley nearly a decade ago and he came off of that and broke several bones in his body. Screw that, I’ll stick to driving dangerously.

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 11, 2012

      haha I can teach you how to ride a motorbike! Get to Canada! :D

      LOL and drive safe please! x

      • Pete Howorth
        July 12, 2012

        Drive safe?! Always ;)

        I tried riding a motor bike when I was 15, I flew off of the back of it haha.

  9. mj monaghan
    July 12, 2012

    Dear keyboard on fire, this was a great post. Thanks for sharing your terrifying moments with us. Well done!

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 15, 2012

      MJ! Thank you! I was thinking of coffee instead of fire :P heheh

  10. Rahul
    July 13, 2012

    What a feel-good article! Nice! :)

  11. Rahul
    July 13, 2012

    What a feel good article! Nice! :)

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 13, 2012

      you must have loved it so much, that you commented twice eh? ;) Thank you!

  12. Addie
    July 13, 2012

    I wish I’m as brave.

    Hey, Ria. New site, huh. Love it!!

  13. Posky
    July 13, 2012

    You could “riding a bike” with “doing drugs” and you’d have my life story.

    Seriously though, this is a great story about going for it. Legitimately good advice.

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 14, 2012

      doing drugs? what doing drugs taught me about life? Now I wanna see a comic strip about that. Get working Posky! ;)

      and thank you!

  14. snapshotsandneedledrops
    July 15, 2012

    Great post!

    I conquered the same sort of fear when it came to running. Growing up I was not an athletic person- definitely more the intellectual-artistic type. Through university however I really wished I could take a break from all the stress of exams and papers and, literally, run free. My big hang-up? Having someone see me start running and….. 100 feet down the road, see me stop again.

    But I worked at it and now I run 5k every (k, bit of an exaggeration…) day. Fear conquered. Now I feel the benefits, like health, confidence, stress-relief and goal setting, ripple into other areas of my life.

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 15, 2012

      Thank you!

      I can see from your blog that you really are the artistic kind! :)

      Running is awesome! Glad that you conquered your fear! :D Keep going!

  15. holly1991
    July 15, 2012

    I think this is a lovely story and also more than anything makes me take a look at my own life, never I have I thought the phrase “Do something everyday that scares you.” Congratulations! x

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 15, 2012

      Thank you for your kind words Holly! I hope to read more from you :) xo

  16. Casey Palmer
    July 16, 2012

    Glad you managed to conquer your fears here, Ria :) I haven’t done too much bike riding since I got mine stolen back when I was 16, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I hope you eventually do too :)

    Like we were discussing earlier today, fear can be a powerful thing — I’m in a weird place in life where I don’t fear many things, except maybe not accomplishing all of the things that I want to do. Probably fundamental to the reason why I’m ALWAYS working on something…

    Maybe one day I’ll finally feel like I’ve gotten enough done to be at peace.


    • roastedkeyboard
      July 23, 2012

      So what are some of the things that you want to accomplish this year? :)

  17. Ann Marquez
    July 19, 2012

    Excellent story Ria!!! Oh if only I could share my ‘learning to ride a bike’ story with you :D Talk about determined with a capitol D! Unlike your parents, my parents forbid me to ride. And oh how I longed for my very own bike. ;)
    But I have to say I totally agree with Casey above! About not fearing “many things except maybe not accomplishing all of the things that I want to do.” Wow! I can relate to everything he said ;)
    Best of luck with the new blog! I’m starting two more blogs myself soon ;) YIKES!!!

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 19, 2012

      Hey Ann!

      haha really? why did they forbid you to ride one? I wish my parents had done that ;) I have a phobia of losing my balance.

      haha Casey has his own site and he writes well! I think you will enjoy his musings!

      Really? I want links lovely lady! :D I can’t wait to read them!

      • Ann Marquez
        July 19, 2012

        I think my parents were afraid I’d take off and never come back ;) My parents were very controlling. I wasn’t even allowed to join Girl Scouts or any type of group or go to the Roller Rink etc., because, “The girls sneak out the window to meet boys.”
        Thanks for the link.
        I’ll let you know when my sites are up and running. Just bought a .com for one today. :D

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 23, 2012

      Yikes! you should write a post about that! I want to read it! :)

      • Ann Marquez
        July 23, 2012

        hmmm maybe ;)

  18. Arindam
    July 19, 2012

    This was a great post. Very nicely written. I had a smile on my face while reading these terrifying moment of yours. :)

  19. Joshua @saintinc
    July 20, 2012

    I saw your cover photo and fell in love. Read this post and almost teared. Where is the subscribe button? Viewing it via my iPhone now.

    • roastedkeyboard
      July 21, 2012

      Hey Joshua!

      Thanks for reading! :)

      It’s on the right hand side of this post and if you scroll down to the bottom of this page on your iphone, I think you’ll see it! I am so happy you like it! :D

  20. Prasad Rao
    July 23, 2012

    I did read a comment saying “You found your voice”. Couldnt agree more :)

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2012 by in 2012 and tagged , , , , , .

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