How the New York Times’ Sewell Chan Learned to Ride a Bike

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Photo: Friendster.com

Sometimes (but only sometimes) the New York Times City Room blog treats a topic like Daily Intel would. The infrequency is a good thing, because we have a tendency to overshare, publicly self-loathe, openly haze our political writer, and Photoshop ourselves into too many pictures. But when they do write themselves into stories, it's always worth it — like the time Jenny 8. Lee braved a plane ride over the Statue of Liberty, next to terrifyingly open doors. This time around, it's Metro guru Sewell Chan having the heart-to-heart with readers. Chan admits that it took him until age 16 to learn to ride a bike:

So my friend and classmate Josh had walked with me to Riverside Park, taking along a bicycle from his family’s apartment on the Upper West Side. We adjusted the seat low, so my feet could easily touch the ground, and Josh tried to explain the key concept behind bike riding: namely, balance. (Training wheels were not an option, at my advanced age.) I got on, and started to pedal. It did not go well.

I could not manage to travel four to six feet before the bike — and I — swerved wildly off course. My attempts to compensate for the bike’s tilt in one direction by leaning in the other ended with my falling, repeatedly. Josh gamely tried to hold onto the back of the seat and run behind me, but it did not help. Our bike-riding lesson ended in failure when I fell onto (or was it over?) a park bench.

Yaaay! Times writers aren't perfect! Somebody tell everybody who works at the Boston Globe. We demand more of this Times blogger oversharing. Wouldn't it enrich your reading experience if you found out, say, that David Pogue used to get beat up on the playground, and finance hottie Andrew Ross Sorkin didn't lose his virginity until age 25?

For Adult Learners, Bike Riding Isn’t as Easy as It Looks [City Room/NYT]