Blood, Sweat, Tears Make the Pain Taste Sweeter
I started learning to ride a bicycle in second grade. My first bike looked very similar to this one. I’m not absolutely sure it had rainbow stripes, but I wouldn’t be surprised. My stepdad would hold on to the chrome seat handle and steady me as I went along the bumpy hill of the yard at my grandparent’s farmhouse. Then he’d let go, and I’d travel twenty to thirty magnificent feet before falling over. This kept happening. It was discouraging. I couldn’t balance for anything. I believe they put some training wheels on, and I was able to cruise down the gravel driveway a little easier. Then one day, as I was flying at super speeds of probably two miles per hour, down our long gritty driveway toward the tailgate of my Pappy’s truck, I forgot how to brake. The truck stopped me, and I wound up with a huge chunk of flapping flesh on the palm of my hand. If I look very closely, because I know where the chunk was located, I can still make out a faintly lighter bit of skin.
I don’t remember riding the bike again until we moved to a new place with asphalt parking areas. Immediately I could ride without falling over, even without the training wheels.
Since then, I’ve loved bike riding. I used to “ride bikes” with my sister, Brandi, all the time. ALL THE TIME. The majority of our time together was spent peddling around our little town, roller skating all over the place, and playing with Barbie dolls. She is my closest sibling, and it’s probably the bike riding that led to that bond. So if you’re ever in the market for some new friends, run up to whoever you choose, make sure you’re smiling extra wide, and excitedly ask them, “YOU WANNA GO RIDE BIKES?!?!”
Sorry about whatever happens. Do restraining orders go on your permanent record?
Brian and I have been talking about getting bikes since I saw an ad for Rambo Bikes, probably four years ago. I’ve had them bookmarked since. We decided that now was a pretty good time to find some more interesting outdoor activities. There isn’t much in the way of geocaching here, which is what we used to do to get outside. It’s all pill bottles and film canisters tossed by the base of sign posts. I know I’ve mentioned the dangerous wildlife here, and the dangers are real, but sometimes you just have to risk being mauled to death. Plus, a lot of our riding will be elsewhere, where less eaty things are located.
Unfortunately, we didn’t opt for Rambo bikes, because we wouldn’t be using the motor and thought it might be nice to not spend quite so much on a new recreational activity. They seem like fun bikes, but we went with plain ol’ mountain bikes instead. Specifically, Kona Mahunas. We don’t know anything about mountain biking, but we’ll learn. If you’re passionate about mountain biking and you’d like to offer any advice, I’m open to it, though, “Them bikes is crap,” isn’t advice, that’s an opinion. Advice reads like, “Make sure you have some good gloves and a helmet if you’re not even able to keep a kid’s bike upright on grass.” I mean, that’s kind of rudely stated advice but not unwarranted.
Wish me luck and minor scarring.
by The Score