Wed
25 Jan

No Hands

“I am a man!”

Nearby co-workers turned their heads as I strolled into the office with great pride and triumph booming from my voice. They we are all obviously deeply curious and jealous about whatever achievement had caused me to display such manly pride.

“What is it this time?” One of them asked.

“I have just successfully figured out how to ride my bicycle with no hands.” I waved my hands as I relayed the story in case there was any doubt that I had hands.

“Congratulations,” my obviously envious Dutch co-worker replied, “You can now do the same thing that every five year old in this country can do.”

Not to be put down by this I grinded and quickly added, “And I have the language skills to match.”

37 Responses to “No Hands”

  1. Tammy says:

    haha brave man! I have never even attempted it! I have trouble enough staying upright with my hands ON the handlebars :P

  2. Invader Stu says:

    Tammy – I was feeling dangerous. I’d already been cycling along with just one hand on the handle bars so I figured I would see what happened if I took it off… and I didn’t fall down :D

  3. AstridQK says:

    Kudos!!! You belong to the incrowd now :-). However, did you you know there is a new hype now? It entails keeping both hands on the handle bars so nobody gets hurt…….

  4. I suppose now that you have invaded Holland and are their ruler (what’s the status on that by the way?) it is only fitting that you show that you are prepared to fit in and not issue some strange law like riding bicycles without ears or other appendages.

  5. Heather says:

    I bow down to your superior skill. Yesterday I was riding along with one hand and thought, “one is almost none.” However, removing that second hand nearly resulted in me riding into someone’s (parked) car.

  6. Invader Stu says:

    AstridQK – But I don’t know if I can ever go back. Not now I have tasted the rush of no hands cycling.

    Unexpected Traveller – That is a very good point indeed but that makes me wonder… as the new ruler of Holland should I really be risking my life? (As for how it is going; I’m still waiting for the Queen to reply to my letters)

  7. Invader Stu says:

    Heather – I’ll admit that I started with baby steps. First taking the hand of for a second, then two more seconds and so on until I had it up to 20 seconds. Then, an evening later I did it for a fully 2 mins. But I was slightly drunk and fear of falling was gone from my mind.

  8. kiks says:

    Wow! I’ve been here for 21 years and I still can’t/won’t do it. Hot!!!

  9. Invader Stu says:

    Kiks – I’m a man of many talents. Even if I do say so myself :p

  10. Yvette says:

    Hah, my Dutch friends tell me if I haven’t learned how to bike without hands it’s because I haven’t been drunk enough yet. ;)

    So wait, based on the picture does this mean you’re the only non-tourist in Holland who actually uses a bike helmet?!

  11. Invader Stu says:

    Yvette – Haha. No, I don’t use one at all but Cartoon Stu does and maybe I should too. and they are right. Being drunk does help. Not that I was drunk walking into the office in the morning in this story.

  12. Alison says:

    Twenty or so years ago, I used to be able to ride with no hands. Now I’m lucky to be able to ride at all. I think being very young and being drunk are pretty similar: no fear! Congrats on your achievement!

  13. Invader Stu says:

    Alison – Thank you. And I like the way you compare being drunk to being young :)

  14. Tiffany says:

    Great post! Well, if it makes you feel any better, I for one am insanely jealous! I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that since I got here and I’m lucky if I can go five seconds without at least one hand on the handle bars. What’s the secret??

  15. Jules says:

    I managed it once, when I wasn’t thinking about it. I was still putzing with my scarf and coat when I pushed off. About 100 m later, I realized “Holy crap, what am I doing!?” and stopped before I realized that I’d been trying to do that for the past year.

  16. AstridQK says:

    Dear Stu,

    There are special AA kind of meetings for this rushfeeling. I hope you understand the danger you’re in….

  17. suus says:

    There’s this old Dutch joke about handless cycling. “Kijk eens mama, zonder handen! BOEM. Kijk eens mama, zonder tanden!”
    :)

  18. Invader_Stu says:

    Tiffany – My secret was just trying it in stages. A friend of mine also said wearing a backpack helps. I guess it provides extra balance.

    Jules – Have you tried it since?

    AstridQK – Yeah. Yeah. Next you’ll be telling me I’m not just hurting myself but I’m also hurting the ones I love. Bla. Bla :p

    Suus – lol. I like that one. I’m also happy I did not have to use google translate to get it.

  19. AstridQK says:

    Eeeeh, no. There is also another proverb: wie niet luisteren wil, moet maar voelen :P

  20. Dragonlady says:

    I’ve just put Suus comment through Google translate. Don’t do it Stu, the toothless look is not a good look.

  21. Invader Stu says:

    AstridQK – Who does not want to listen, but to feel? Google translate has failed me.

    Dragonlady – You don’t think I could pull it off?

  22. Wrong Side of the Pond says:

    Some of the best ideas in life seem to happen when one is drunk…

    …Well, best from the perspective of the spectator anyways.

  23. Invader Stu says:

    Peter – I see you are a level of mastery above me too. I’ve not yet been able to wave my hands around while cycling.

    Wrong Side of the Pond – So so true.

  24. AstridQK says:

    Google is close, but they put the words wrong…

    The one who doesn’t want to listen, has to suffer the consequences for himself :P

  25. Maybe you could try learning how to ride a unicycle next! :D

  26. Dragonlady says:

    maybe thats what your Dad thought when he climbed that tree.

  27. suus says:

    “Barb the French Bean :

    Maybe you could try learning how to ride a unicycle next! :D”

    Yes, that is the ultimate goal. not kidding: I once saw a dutch dude (with dreadlocks) ride a unicycle while delivering pizzas. No, it wasn’t a dream. Reality is weirder :)

  28. Invader Stu says:

    Barb the French Bean – With my luck?

  29. Aledys Ver says:

    This reminds me of my attempts to stick out my hand to indicate I was going left or right on the bike. I couldn’t lift my hand, so basically what I did was signal with my head… frantic nod to the left, frantic nod to the right…

  30. Invader Stu says:

    Aledys Ver – That must have looked hilarious :)

  31. Dave Hampton says:

    ‘bet you can’t do it on cobblestones, though? If so, then can you do it on icy cobblestones? I’m still rattling along with both hands firmly on the bike (or, actually, one for the bike, one for my bag)

  32. Bart says:

    The next challenge: turn right or left without using your hands (something that most Dutch people (but not all) will also be able to do) :-)

  33. Invader Stu says:

    Dave – Cobblestones is a level of mastery I will never reach and never dare to.

    Bart – Is that ‘without’ falling over? Otherwise I can do it :p

  34. ben268 says:

    That’s exciting! Try biking up a steep hill with no hands.

  35. Invader Stu says:

    Ben268 – Steep hills? In Holland sir? :p

  36. Remco says:

    …and then there’s a third challenge: riding without hand whilst sitting on the baggage carrier.

    This is a fantastic blog; I’ve been reading through the content for days now… Thank you for the smiles!

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