Hell on Wheels
Palms sweating, heart racing, knees wobbling, mind spinning, and you’re frantically trying to take control. It’s your first set of wheels and they are just begging to be taken for a spin around the block. There’s just one itty bitty little problem: it’s your first time. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the first time you ride a bike or the first time you get behind the wheel of a car, the sensations can be enough to drive you wild. Even though the rush of adrenaline and the sense of power may have felt identical, learning how to ride a bike and learning how to drive a car may have differed in more ways than most of us remember.
While bike riding may feel like second nature to most of us now, it certainly didn’t start out that way. I still remember it as if it just happened yesterday; I was riding down my sidewalk on my Disney Princess bike, the summer breeze blowing through the giant gap where my two front teeth once resided, and the only thing keeping me from face planting into the cement were my two little pink training wheels. It wasn’t long before the other kids in my neighborhood joined in for a little friendly bike race, and as I hopelessly watched everyone else zoom past me on their “big kid”, two-wheeled bicycles, I realized that it was time to lose the training wheels. I was prepared; my parents had agreed to getting me a new bike – specifically one with no princess decals or handlebar tassels – and I had on all the elbow pads, knee pads, ankle pads, and whatever other protective padding my mom could fit on my body, I felt some-what like the little brother from A Christmas Story. I almost peed myself from excitement as my mom got behind my bike and pushed me forward into the brand new life as a badass biker. I was queen of the world for about 10 seconds until I ate dirt hard. But like the generations of kids before me, I didn’t give up. By the end of the day I had eaten enough dirt to fill an entire flower bed, but none of it mattered...
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