“Let’s meet up over the weekend? Is there a good movie that’s showing?” I ask the girls in an email.
“Let’s go biking in East Coast!” Chi responds, to everyone’s surprise. But we all eagerly agree with the idea. Something new from our typical dinner-then-eat-then-talk-for-hours routine. What fun!
“Sorry guys but I don’t know how to drive a bike. I’ll just watch you,” Gelle apologized.
“We’ll teach you!” I volunteer.
That’s how we ended up at East Coast on a sweltering Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. We had a very late lunch at the hawker stalls first before proceeding to rent some bikes from a shop at about S$7 an hour. Then we took turns watching our stuff, taking pictures and teaching Gelle how to drive a bike.
I was confident that she would learn because years ago back in Manila, we housemates used to rent bikes in PICC where we successfully taught Gay how to ride a bike. Of course, bike rental there is much cheaper, at only about 25 pesos per hour, I think. I once actually drove on the Macapagal Highway which I didn’t know was off limits, not to mention scary – it’s such a huge road with a lot of fast vehicles and my friends were shocked, saying how I could easily have died, defenseless as I was in my bike. Oopsies.
It wasn’t easy to teach Gelle at first. Once you know how to ride a bike, you just do it instinctively, without really putting thought on what you’re supposed to do and all, so we didn’t really know how to instruct about it. After a while I had the idea of getting AA and Chi to ride a bike and let Gelle copy them. That’s when we realized we had been telling Gelle the wrong instructions. Err. So we taught Gelle how to do the starting position and move the handlebars to steady herself once she felt like getting outbalanced. AA and I were on both sides, holding her seat and her handlebars and ready to catch her if she fell. Chi yelled things like “You have the wrong starting position!” from the back, thus garnering her the title of Miss Minchin.
Before the hour was up, “Lottie” could successfully drive a bike. Miss Minchin, Miss Amelia and Princess Sarah were overcome with happiness.
We were all sweaty and red-faced from the heat and the exertions, so we rested at a table on the beach and murmured how relaxing it was to watch the ocean and chattered on about all sorts of things – now this is something that’s not new. Then we returned our bikes and walked towards a restaurant where we had delicious thin crust pizza and nachos.