I hear the squeak of rubber on wood.
“Come outside, I’ve got a surprise for you”, shouts a manly voice.
I run down the hallway, my footsteps echoing, excitement bubbling up inside. I crash out the door into the warm, sticky air. I look around and there is my dad holding a bike!
He worked at Velo Cycles in Carlton and has been trying to put me on a bike since I was 1 year old.
I squeal with utter excitement and run over to my BYK. I quickly let my eyes scan over the bike. I start taking some mental notes; colour: purple, size: 450, 8 speed!
I hop on and shift around in the seat, getting comfortable.
At first my dad pushes me, steadying the bike, then I start to pedal. My Dad lets go and fear envelops me. What if I fall? What if my foot gets caught? What if I hurt myself? I am so caught up in my fears that I forget to steer, there is a pole rapidly approaching. I jerk out of the way and fall from the sudden movement. I lie sprawled on the ground as my dad sprints toward me. He crouches beside me and hoists me up to a sitting position. I groan.
“It’s just a little graze”, Dad says, “Practice makes permanent or perfect, whatever works for you.”
I stand up, brush myself off and try again. I try again and again and again and again. After the seventh try I admit defeat, I sit on the curb and look sadly at my wonderful bike. My beautiful, intricate, sleek, vibrant bike that I will never get to ride. I sigh. Then dad comes over, he sits beside me.
“Riding a bike isn’t just about moving the pedals and steering”, dad says calmly, “It is about balance and believing you can do it. You need to focus and believe.”
I stand up, my eyes blazing with determination. I grab my bike and swing my leg over the frame. Then, I push off onto our quiet street. I pedal furiously, concentration never wavering. Then I get to the downhill section. The fears start to fill my head again but I push them away. I can do this!
I soar down, the wind in my hair. The speed is exhilarating, and I whoop, happiness bubbling over. A huge smile creeps onto my face.
I skid to a stop and get off the bike. My dad is waiting for me at the bottom of the hill, where I stopped. I stand in front of him, windswept hair and gigantic smile.
“Can I go again?” I say, laughing.