Learning to Ride

April 3, 2009
By Anonymous

Lying alongside with crumbled newspapers and magazines, the bike looked as if it’s a treasure ready to be found. Helping this delicate-looking metal up, I took a few hard glimpse of the bike; the paint on the outer layer had started to peel, revealing the hard metal inside, the chain wheel showed a bit rust, but other than that, it was in good shape. The bike stood up to my knee height, holding tightly to the handlebar, though under a coating of dust, I still felt warmth rushing up my hands, and, without a reason, an instant rush of adrenaline shot me.
Cautiously, my hands clung onto the handlebar and I reached out my left leg to the other side of the bike. In this fairy tale scenario, with my bottom on the cushion seat, my legs stood to the ground perfectly; this bike was made for my height. “This way I won’t fall,” was what came through my young mind. Like a seed germinating, my determination to learn how to ride a bike sprouted.
For the first few days, I had my arms against the wall, body squatted on the bike, trying to balance myself. Wiggling left and right erratically, as if there was a repulsive force between the pedal and my legs, staying on the bike with both legs seemed impossible. Unbearable smell emitted from my body due to perspiration, I was completely drained after each day’s practice. It was a difficult struggle, a frustrating battle that threatened to take away both the skin of my palm and the self-esteem in my heart. Suffering from both physical and mental fatigue, I was frustrated, and thought of giving up.
However, at the age of five, I knew that if I could conquer this balancing problem, I would be able to ride a bike like the older kids. Pushed by this intangible indomitable force, I dragged my sore legs on the pedal once again and tried. Despite all the times I wanted to give up, I knew I had to persist, and so I did.
Finally, my hard-work paid off. Stepping in front of my bike with my muscles aching was agonizing, but the improvement each day was evident. The improvements gave me the motivation to continue; tries after tries, I got off the ground and pushed myself a little harder, I knew it was just the matter of time.
The morning sun ray slanted faintly in my window door, and follow behind was a fresh and vivid smell; I sensed that it was the day when things will work. I devoured my breakfast and dashed to my bike. Palms on handlebar, legs ready to take off, heart pounding from excitement, I took a deep breath to allow time for the momentum and confidence to rise, and when the right moment came, I took off! At first, my hands couldn’t stop shaking from exuberance, so I slowed down the pace to let the bubbling satisfaction sink in. Before I knew it, I was riding my bike without trouble, cruising through the hallway, and, for a moment, I was flying. It was an absolute sensation, and for the rest of the day, I cruised around the neighborhood flawlessly.
Ten years ago, I conquered the dream of riding a bike. The courage and perseverance required to overcome this challenge is something I will never forget. Bike riding may seem insignificant compared to all the challenges we face later in our lives, but from it, I’ve learned how to face obstacles with this same optimistic attitude.
Each year, I look forward to spring, the ultimate bike riding season, where I can gain the recollections on this memorable time in the past.

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