"Cycling and swimming are things that, once learnt, can never be forgotten." - or so they said. My parents were keen bikers, and they gifted me my first BI-cycle (as opposed to TRI-cycle - that safe, sturdy, secure, sweet little mode of childhood transport), when I was about eight or nine.
The bicycle fascinated my dad, because its colourful contours were so different from the plain outlines of his own boyhood bike. It fascinated my brother, because it promised reckless speed and wind-in-the-hair freedom. It scared me for that very same reasons. The colourful contours appeared wobbly and shaky (there were no supporting training-wheels). The promise of speed was more a threat of an ignominious fall-flat-on-my-face-as-I-crashed.
But in a family of enthusiastic bikers, when even my saree-clad mother got up on the bike to demonstrate see-how-easy-it-is, I couldn't voice my misgivings. And so, the lessons began, in the not-so-smooth grass meadow near our house. At first, my father would push us from behind, then as we learnt to gather speed and the balance automatically came, he would let us go on our own, free and flying on two wheels (a lesson in how to take one's steps in life's journey as well).
My brother picked up the rudiments early on. As for me, I was too conscious of the surroundings to enjoy the wind-in-my-hair and the whirl-under-my-feet. The stones and bumps in the meadow rattled me, the children playing at the side rattled me, people behind me rattled me, and I was so distracted by all of these that I banged smack into the brick wall at the end of the meadow. The front wheel was damaged, but not as much as my pride.
Till today, I cannot get up and get down properly from a bicycle. Only if I get an unlimited unhindered expanse of space will I attempt to ride a bike into the dizzy unknown. Otherwise, I prefer my own two legs, thank you very much.
P.S : Needless to say, MY FIRST BIKE very soon became MY BROTHER'S FIRST BIKE, to my chagrin and my parents' disappointment.
P.P.S : It was Michelle's monthly Write-Away contest at Scribbit which made me write this post of ignominy.
DO YOU HAVE ANY BIKE MEMORIES TO SHARE?