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Aug 22 2011

The video of me learning how to ride a bike

My part starts at 1:14:

I have to keep reminding myself that I did this for the children. Hooray for Camp Quest! Take that, PZ!

And no, I swear I’m not a chain smoker. I lost my voice from having too much fun at the Secular Student Alliance conference. And yes, that’s the farthest I rode the bike. As in typical Midwestern fashion, a thunderstorm popped up and started to produce a torrential downpour.

Thanks, Ashley, for making the video!

52 comments

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  1. 1
    TerranRich

    The sound levels at the beginning nearly killed my ears! lol But you seemed to learn it pretty fast. I’m teaching my 4-year-old son how to ride a bike. At least you didn’t need training wheels! ;-)

  2. 2
    Ajb47

    This looks like a good way to learn:http://www.rei.com/expertadvic…I just need to get my kids to try it.

  3. 3
    KTSA

    Ya shuda moved to Sacramento…all the cool kids ride bikes here. Awesome buddy.Kriss

  4. 4
    blainehiggy

    Well…that’s not really riding a bike. Once you can pedal and do a few circles and figure 8′s while pedaling then you can claim victory.Keep with it – once you learn you’ll really enjoy bike riding. Probably…maybe…maybe not.

  5. 5
    Pepijn

    This is what happens when it rains in my country… :-)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  6. 6
    Annie

    Awesome!  You learned rather quickly.

  7. 7
    pete084

    You’re not ready for Amsterdam yet, that place is bike mania, and bloody dangerous for a novice.

  8. 8
    Izzy Leonard

    Your family makes fun of you? You mean the people who were supposed to teach you in the first place? That is fucked up!

  9. 9
    Vlmetiva

    That was really entertaining :D

  10. 10
    Gregory Marshall

    My 12 year son does not ride a bike, I have offered to teach him several times and he wants no part of it. Maybe Jen is the same way. He also loves pokemon, so he has a lot in common with Jen.

  11. 11
    Thorn

    Hey good work on the learning to ride a bike thing. I only learnt to ride one myself three years ago and I’m 28. I was extraordinarily pleased with myself at the first stretch of about a mile I rode on my own, having been gathering confidence about it on my little brothers bike over a couple of days previously. A month or so later I bought my own bike and started working on doing that on a regular basis, then going longer and longer distances, and finally figuring out what it is I really want in a bike and discovering what different set-ups mean to efficiency and comfort and learning about bicycle maintenance and repair then I bought a bike that reflected that. These days I clock up more bicycle miles than car miles, which only gets much use on very long journeys and when I’m expecting to transport heavy items, which is usually over 100 miles a week occasionally up to 73 miles in a single day. I never dreamed I’d ever get that far when I started out, I’m not a skinny cyclist type on flat land I’m a large heavy man on hilly country but I stuck at and have no regrets about doing so with the outrageous increase in the price of fuel and the massive increase in muscle tone in my legs. I’m thinking I ought to take up boxing or something make the top half match.Goodluck in further cycling should you choose to do so.

  12. 12
    Tom

    Just in case the usual anti-science types are floating around. No this does not provide evidence that pokemon enthusiasts cannot ride bikes. No more than rain in texas proves prayer works.

  13. 13
    Mike Brownstein

    Next, I teach you how to inline skate…maybe JT will need a lesson too :-D

  14. 14
    Jen

    Oh, they tried. Trust me, they tried. I just lost interest in falling over very quickly, and would rather sit inside and read. Hence the teasing :P

  15. 15
    Jen

    ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?! :P

  16. 16
    August Pamplona

    Congratulations!

  17. 17
    Vicky L.

    Yay Jen!  Believe it or not, it’s easier to balance yourself when you go faster :)

  18. 18
    Daniel Schealler

    Of course.It was a montage!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  19. 19
    Daniel Schealler

    Frankly?Yes.Yes I am.^_^

  20. 20
    the_Siliconopolitan

    Who’s the cute beardy?He makes me want to shave, since I can never look that awesome.I agree it was cruel of you ‘friends’ to hire the show-off to do run rings around you.

  21. 21
    the_Siliconopolitan

    Yay physics!

  22. 22
    Daniel Schealler

    And for the record, I’m pretty sure your parents will still find a way to tease you about this.That’s what parents do.

  23. 23
    Alex

    Come visit Davis, CA sometime. It’s like a bike capital of America (got nothing on the bikes in China or Amsterdam, though….)

  24. 24
    Jen

    Hahaha. He’s my special friend :P My special friend who’s ego is going to be inflated by this comment.

  25. 25
    Brendan Murphy

    Me! :)We didn’t hire him, he just spotted an “opportunity.”

  26. 26
    Brendan Murphy

    Just because I bike a lot does not make me special. >_>

  27. 27
    Brendan Murphy

    Portland?

  28. 28
    Sarah Maddox

    Congrats, Jen! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? And kudos to Brendan being the cart in front of the horse…

  29. 29
    AmandaStock

    Awesome, congratulations on learning to ride a bike! I had the same problem with waterskiing until a few years ago when I finally broke down in the face of all the teasing and learned. I love it now and am sure you will come to love the freedom and fun of cycling :)

  30. 30
    Annie

    That was awesome!

  31. 31
    Euan

    Safest country in the world for all traffic, though.  Children learn to ride at school, it’s part of their education.

  32. 32
    Yellow Hatguy

    I concur. -1 to bucket list.

  33. 33
    Ted Herrlich

    Congrats Jen!  Cycling is a blast, as my granddaughter says.  She just graduated from training wheels and can’t keep off her bike.  I have to do two trips around the neighborhood after work so she can ‘practice’ more.  Enjoy!    TedTed Herrlichhttp://sciencestandards.blogsp

  34. 34
    facebook-740856118

    Congratulations!  Better late than never!

  35. 35
    Karl Broman

    way to go!

  36. 36
    skepgineer

    If you learn to navigate a traffic-cone slalom with no hands, I will donate $1000 to Secular Student Alliance.

  37. 37
    Oiram71317

    Yeah, I was smiling proudly, like I did when I watched my kids learn, but when I noticed the guy in the back, it turned into one big evil laugh.

  38. 38
    Jen

    Even I don’t love the SSA that much :P

  39. 39
    Svlad Cjelli

    But rain in Texas does prove prayer works! D:

  40. 40
    Svlad Cjelli

    I forgot how to ride a bike.

  41. 41
    Daniel Gross

    Excellent!  As an ancient geezer who’s been an avid bike rider for over 60 years, I applaud your success!

  42. 42
    Ian Andreas Miller

    Macte virtute esto!  Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

  43. 43
    Nick Lowe

    Your seat wasn’t high enough.  It should have  been up about two inches- the difference in the feel of the center of gravity will make a huge difference in your confidence levels.  The hardest part of learning to ride a bike is overcoming the initial fear, the unsettled feeling of something completely unusual moving in ways you’re not acclimated too.  Once you can get past that, it’s all muscle memory and smooth (well as smooth as the surface you’re on) sailing.  Congrats!

  44. 44
    Gregory Marshall

    Much like my son, and the teasing doesn’t work only strengthens the resolve. I actually have used your account as an inspiration on this. I am like, hey, if Jen is an adult and doesn’t want to ride a bike, more power to my son.P.S. I never teased him much (his twin does though), because I figured if he decides he wants to he will.

  45. 45
    Poolagirl

    I found you via another blogger (ornerypest).  Thanks for the laugh!  You are going to do just fine on that bike!

  46. 46
    Georgia Sam

    I was going to say the same thing about the seat height. Your quadriceps will tire & get cramps more quickly if the seat isn’t high enough.

  47. 47
    Mike McCreight

    Good job baby.  I knew you had it in you.   Soon you’ll be trading your car in for a new bike.

  48. 48
    the_Siliconopolitan

    “special friend”?Damn, why are all the good ones always gay or taken?Oh … actually … scratch that first one …

  49. 49
    the_Siliconopolitan

    Having the seat low enough to reach the ground is a good place to start. I doubt Jen’d strain her muscles all that much while still getting the hang of balance.

  50. 50
    JayKen Knotstirred

    Took me 2 years to learn to ride a bike!Lots of crashes and blood. Congrats on slaying that demon!

  51. 51
    ChristopherTK

    OK Jen, before you know it, you will be signing up for century rides for fundraising and charities!Since you mentioned biking though; what is the deal with Indianapolis & biking on the sidewalks? I’ve never been to a city that thought bikers on sidewalks are a good idea.The historic trail was nice but even that didn’t make sense at times.

  52. 52
    Daniel Schealler

    I can see it now.Pledge to commit $X for every foot of the longest distance Jen can go in a day without taking her feet off the pedals or falling over… With a brief video showing the highlights.She’ll make a killing – hell, I’d sign up for that.

  1. 53
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