My Fear of Bicycles and Our Honeymoon in Kyoto

I’m scared of riding a bicycle. And I’m not even talking about mountain biking or biking in traffic, I’m talking about anxiety over biking on the boardwalk or on flat surfaces in neighborhoods where birds are singing and people say “hello!” to you on the street. It’s really a pity, because bicycles are so friendly. It’s a shame that I should be scared of something so seemingly innocent. It's like saying you're scared of being licked by kittens or eating ice cream cones or drive-in movie theaters. I mean, who could possibly be afraid of this?

[Photo from Kyoto Cycling Tour Project]

Part of my fear is motivated by a bad incident I had a long time ago. It wasn’t anything life threatening, I wasn’t hurt and I didn’t break any bones or fall over, but it was emotionally crushing. Without going into too many details, let’s just say it involved a break-up and some yelling on the side of the road because of my lack of biking skills. Yikes. It was a long time ago, and I’ve clearly evolved into a different person since then, but because I hated that day so much and would replay it in my head, I haven’t attempted to ride a bicycle since.

This long personal confession is just to say that it looks like a lot of fun to explore Kyoto by bicycle and I want to. Plus, this video just looks amazing. We'll see what the weather is like (it's supposed to rain a lot) but I'd love to replace my association with bicycles to something really happy instead of keeping my depressing memory forever tied to riding a bike.

And if for some reason I get scared of falling and being hit by a car, I'll be on my honeymoon with someone who won't yell at me because of it.

Do you have a fear of something that is supposed to be fun? Ever explore a new city by bicycle?



Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

i'm not a good bicyclist and learned when I was 20! Hmm maybe even later.
But exploring by bicycle seems like such a great way to be immersed in the environment while saving your feet from all the pavement pounding.

an aqua juel said...

I'm totally scared of riding a bicycle too!! Same thing...nothing too terrible happened, just a little spill when I was younger. Have been afraid ever since.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

oh dear. I can understand - I use to be a little afraid of riding my cruiser...but after a little coaxing from the BF and a lot of riding along the safe ocean boardwalk, I think I'm more confident. I say, start off easy...maybe just around your neighborhood or on a bike path. And b/c I'm such a scaredy cat, I have my seat as low as possible (I'm short as you know), so my feet are fully touching the ground - so if anything happens, my feet can save me. ;) I rode while traveling China and it was great! So you must try while in Japan - even if just for a few mins!

blushingjoy said...

Borrow a bike from a friend and ride around a quiet street before your trip. That was what I did when I first started riding. Cycling around Kyoto would be an amazing experience and it gets you much further than just walking. And you will have a lot of fun. Don't be afraid of it... I've ridden into a drain before, got chased by dogs and a lot of my scars are from bike riding but I still love it. I wished we had more dirt tracks around Sydney to ride.

Mo said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies. :) The boy says we can ride around our apartment complex before we leave.

@Chic 'n Cheap: Ah! 20! I feel better about that, I occasionally get jokes about being the only Chinese person over the age of 5 that does not know how to ride a bicycle.

@an aqua juel: Bicycle phobics unite!

@TPB: I always need my feet touching too because I super scared. I'll give it a couple minutes in Kyoto, as long as my feet touch the ground. ;)

@blushingjoy: Chased by dogs?? Were they small harmless dogs? Luckily I haven't seen many scary dogs in San Diego. I'll stick to riding from one end of our apartment community to the other and let you girls all know how my phobia is coming along!

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