Mastering the Art of Riding a Bicycle
A time I was embarrassed most was during the physical education lesson when the whole class was taken to the field by the teacher for various sporting events, but I could not ride a bicycle to the surprise of my classmates. With bicycles of all sizes and colors parked on one side of the field, every other boy looked at me with an open mouth wondering, “You can’t ride a bike?” Luckily enough, the teacher swiftly intervened and took me by the hand towards the toy-packed corner away from the boys, “Johnnie, come we paddle this other side!” This offered me a sheer relief from the embarrassment. Despite the fact that this experience came in my early childhood when I was hardly six years of age, I will never forget this day. The embarrassment I felt on the day of sporting changed me for the rest of my life.
It goes without saying that boys really valued bicycles, because this was the main means of transport in the neighborhood. Boys and girls who could not ride bikes at this tender age were treated with a lot of contempt by the peers. Therefore, I was no exception. It is this kind of harsh treatment from peers that made me sad when I realized I could not ride a bicycle like other children in school. Even in loneliness, I would hear senior boys tease me at the back of my mind, “You gonna ride today?” Although the boys were slightly senior than me, I was deeply disturbed, because they kept on reminding me about that every time in school. Some of the naughty children would even ridicule me back at home. I could not withstand the mere thinking that I was lesser, as they would say, on the virtue that I could not ride a bike.
One chilly morning, while sitting at my flamboyant flowery school desk ready to complete my assignment, my best friend Clarke asked me in class, “Hey Hey Johnnie, you mean you still cannot ride a bicycle after such a long weekend?” This time round, the feelings of embarrassment and inadequacy were the strongest perhaps because the assault was coming from a good friend; I simply laughed it off saying, “I wanna ride this weekend for sure,” and it was over. Despite all disheartening ridicules from the peers, I said to myself, “I must learn how to ride a bicycle come rain or sunshine.” It was when I started doing everything in my power to master the art of bike riding from other children in the neighborhood and school.
Nevertheless, my embarrassment turned into a pure joy on the eve of Christmas when my father bought me a brand new red mountain bicycle of its own kind as a gift. What a surprise on the festive day of the year! My heart throbbed with joy for the rest of the day, and I could not wait to try my new bike on the dimly lit concrete pavement in our compound. The following day, I moved from door to door displaying the bicycle to Tom, Dick, and Henry. Words went round across the neighborhood like a bush fire that I had a new bike, and all friends gathered to test it. From all corners of the neighborhood, children could be heard shouting to the top of their voices, “Johnnie let me have a ride!”
Unlike the popular BMX bicycles that most boys had in the neighborhood, my bike had springing rear and front wheel shock absorbers strong enough to keep even an adult in place in the event bike hits a pothole on the road. Besides the shock absorbers, the bike was also fitted with a soft comfortable leather saddle. Generally speaking, I loved everything in the bike: its red color was just superb, the red reflectors were flashing on the pedal, and a sparkling diamond chain whose rotation brought about the smooth rolling of the wheels. The harmonious clicks, squeaks, and clunks of the moving bicycle excited me more than ever before; I could not wait any longer but to start playing around with my bike even if I could not write.
The most memorable part of this event was that I practiced riding a bicycle with the help of my beloved father. He took me to the nature park within the neighborhood where we all enjoyed sunlight rays strongly infiltrating the thick canopies of the tall cypress and mountain teak trees. The short ever green grass occasioned my day in the beautiful park. After the first riding tutorials from mum and dad, I went round and round the park in between the whistling pine trees balancing with a lot of care on the lowly saddle. After an hour of vigorous practice, I could balance and brake pretty well against the expectation of my mum. This made my dad crazy. “I can’t believe it!,” exclaimed my dad across the park as I rode my new bike unaided. It really felt good to learn how to ride a bicycle in the able hands of my mum and dad.
In summary, it was such an embarrassment to learn that I would not ride a bicycle amongst the peers. Nevertheless, things took a different turn when my dad bought me a bicycle as a Christmas gift that inspired me to practice with my new bike. It was a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life.