I’m afraid of bikes.

When Krystle put out the call for guest posters in regards to the Fear Confessions series, I threw my name into the hat. I started to think of all the things I’m afraid of and the list was longer than I’d like to admit. For as many really huge and crippling fears that I have, I also have lots of random little fears. I’m afraid of spiders, jackals and coyotes (random and weird)… but I think my strangest fear, by far, is bicycles. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely accurate… I should say that I’m afraid of RIDING a bicycle.

Now, this strikes me as particularly odd because I used to ride a bike all the time as a kid. If it were relatively nice out, I’d go ride around the neighborhood I grew up in and also pretend I was in a Calvin and Hobbes-like adventure (complete with stuffed animal in my basket). Yes, I’ve had my fair share of falls but never anything ridiculously traumatic that would cause my current aversion to biking. I’m not sure when the moment came where I said, I’m never getting on a bike again, but I can say it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve attempted to ride a bike.

People have tried to get me to ride one again, it just hasn’t happened. My boyfriend even went as far to bring over an extra bike to keep at our apartment to try and get me out there. I had said that maybe I could start in a parking lot without any hills and then see what happens… but I never really pursued that one. The bike is still in our basement at the moment. Now complete with flat tires.

Maybe one day I’ll finally face my fear and attempt to ride a bike again. It would be nice to go for a lovely ride on the bike path on a spring day and also, it’s way easier to take a bike into downtown Providence than to drive, since you don’t really have to worry too much about parking. However, if the day ever does come, I’ll definitely be requesting training wheels. I can say that I’m not afraid to look ridiculous while trying to conquer my bike riding fear!

Erika is a graphic designer and letterpress printer. She spends her days designing packaging and reserves nights and weekends for many a letterpress project. She loves typography, luscious paper products, and all things mid-century modern. She is also a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady.

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Fear Confessions is a series of essays by creatives who share personal stories about facing their fears. It’s a celebration of vulnerability.

  1. I haven’t ridden a bike in so long, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t be afraid to try it again.