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!


  1. says

    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. blainehiggy says

    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.

  3. pete084 says

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

  4. says

    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.

  5. Thorn says

    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.

  6. Tom says

    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.

  7. says

    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

  8. the_Siliconopolitan says

    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.

  9. Alex says

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

  10. Sarah Maddox says

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

  11. AmandaStock says

    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 :)

  12. says

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

  13. Oiram71317 says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. says

    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.

  16. Poolagirl says

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

  17. Georgia Sam says

    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.

  18. the_Siliconopolitan says

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

  19. the_Siliconopolitan says

    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.

  20. JayKen Knotstirred says

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

  21. says

    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.

  22. says

    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.


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