It was made quite a big deal in my household that I couldn't ride a bicycle at the age of 8. My parents forced me outside everyday to practice for a minimum of an hour until i got it, and I mean quite honestly? I wouldn't have bothered learning if it were up to me. After months of practice, I had finally mastered it though. The shame of having two younger siblings who learned to ride a bicycle first now melted to relief. I raced inside, face ablaze with my newfound dignity, and that same day my parents went out and bought me a shiny new pink bicycle, with sparkly tassels hanging from the handles and everything.
The appropriate thing to do was obviously for me and my younger brother and sister to go out for a cruise, and as i wobbily followed after them, I quite enjoyed the breeze on my face. We stopped at the edge of our neighborhood, that connected to a busy street. “Let's go down this hill!” my brother shouted. I looked down the winding sidewalk, which was barely less than a plummet, and just to add intensity it was side by side to a road of roaring vehicles. I felt queasy and refused, but they said that they would leave me if I didn't go down, and the thought of shakily riding my bike home alone wasn't a good one, so I conformed. If I could learn to ride a bike, then what's one hill? They went down first, one at a time, then came my turn. My hands sweatily gripped the rubber handles, and i lurched forward towards my descent. Now this was a very long hill for one, so as I began gaining speed I could really enjoy the wind striking my face, but as mailboxes started whipping by faster than comfort, I realized I couldn't brake. No matter how hard I stomped on the petals I couldn't get them to stop spinning. Panic began rising up in me as I watched the end of the sidewalk which led to a busy car filled street approaching rapidly, and my brother and sister already at the end, sitting there watching me. I became horrified, and quickly weighed my options, my best chance was to bail off to the side, then I’d only hit one of the houses that tightly lined the sidewalk. But I just couldn't make myself jump, so I steered towards a green electrical box at the bottom of the sidewalk, and clashed head on. There were many things to register in this moment, like the loud clash of my brand new bike crunching into the metal box, or how I soared over it, leaving my bike in place for the front of a speeding car on the road.
This is when I think I blacked out, I only remember opening my eyes to a bright blue sky, and sharp pain coursing through my body. My brother and sister ran over with expressions of shock, and helped me up. I hobbled off the road, and the car I hit sped away in, I’m assuming fear. My bicycle was wrecked, the paint now streaked off to expose gray metal, my entire handlebar was bent, and I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes from despair. Walking home, the adrenaline wore out, and I was now sobbing, partly from the embarrassment of the situation, and partly from how mad I knew my parents would be when they saw the damage of my bike. I made my siblings promise not to tell them what happened, but of course when I got home they did. I don't think they really needed to though, because when I looked in the mirror there was blood and scraps from my face down to my legs.
I did get in immense trouble, for the bike that is, and my parents proud and warm feeling towards me turned back to disappointment, as per usual. I don’t believe I learned much from this experience, except that you shouldn’t let people peer pressure you into going down big hills, you’ll probably end up getting absolutely rammed by a car. It is a good thing to be pushed by your peers or parents, to do the very most you can, but sometimes your know your own limits. Following your instincts can definitely be beneficial.