By Kevin Kusinitz, Next Avenue Contributor
When the idea of a family bike trip through the South of France was broached by my wife earlier this year, my initial response was, “Wow, what a cool idea!” While not a biking fanatic, I was pretty sure I could make it without a headline in Le Monde reading “Imbécile Américain Meurt dans un Champ de Lavande. (Stupid American Dies in Lavender Field).”
Besides, I had seen all the travel brochures with pictures of tourists my age, riding leisurely along the vineyards. All of them were dressed in T-shirts and shorts, as if on their way to a picnic where a nice Bordeaux would be served. In other words, a casual, week-long ride along flat roads that required no more effort than a stroll in the park —my kind of exercise. Plus, I’d be surrounded by travelers who were just like me — weekend bikers of a certain age who were there for fun rather than a challenging workout.
I figured, too, that we’d be a group rather than a team, which is a huge difference. Just the word “team” stirred dismal memories. You see, I wasn’t a sporty kind of kid growing up, uncoordinated to the point of being a danger to myself. Things only got worse in high school. Not only was I always the last chosen for teams in gym class, but the team captains would often come close to physical blows trying to pawn me off on the other. In baseball, I was always asked to play outfield — like, as far away as possible while still technically on school grounds. For basketball, my position was Over There and Out of the Way. Dodgeball? Just aim for my throat and throw as hard as you can.
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Originally published on Forbes.com