Remember learning to ride a bike? You weebled, you wobbled, you fell down. Somebody told you to get back on and try again, so you did. Before long, the asphalt was disappearing beneath your feet, and the streets belonged only to you.
My own introduction to the way of the bike went like this... a less-than-ceremonial briefing ("Put your feet here and pedal") was followed by a firm shove down Breckenridge Street. And even though I was brought down quickly by a parked car, somebody has to be the one to give that first push. Thanks, Dad... I'll be pushing you now.
And thanks, Lisa (my amazing wife) for giving me the same kind of prodding, some 30 years later. See, I thought I knew how to ride a bike. Turns out, I don't know 'cross and I've been hitting the figurative parked car for about a week now. Lisa bought me a 2-hour skills class, and I subsequently discovered that I don't have skills. I practiced dismounts and run-ups in the park tonight, and was reminded that old guys learn slower. Often painfully slower.
But the little successes have given me the same ecstatic feeling I had when I was six... when the pedals first felt natural, and I could just ride. I love cyclocross (and someday I might be able to do it without crashing).