Cycling Stories

A Piece of Metal With Two Wheels

February 19, 2020

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A Piece of Metal With Two Wheels

“It’s true what they say, “Once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget.”

Amina

Bikes. Cycles. BMXs.

Like many other awestruck children, I spent a good portion of my childhood begging my parents for a “piece of metal with two wheels,” as they liked to call it.

I can vividly remember the urge – not just so I could impress my friends, but the simple fact that it looked so thrilling. Not to mention, it was a quick mode of transportation that would help me attend those important gatherings that all ten-year-olds simply couldn’t miss.

All jokes aside, for as long as I can remember, I always wanted to own one of those vintage cycles with a wicker basket. Despite the fact that my parents were adamant that I would not get a bike anytime soon because they were sure, it was just another phase. But, I knew it was much more.

Then, at the age of 14, I got my first bicycle. It was racecar red with multiple gears. Even the safety reflector intrigued me. It marked the beginning of what involved a whole lot of perseverance, obstacles, and falls.

Credit: Unsplash

Learning to Ride

The first time I attempted to ride, I failed miserably.

My dad helped push me from behind, although I couldn’t quite get the balance right, which meant I rode around lopsided for 45 minutes while trying to navigate the uneven ground.

I tolerated this nonsense a couple more times before throwing in the towel, chalking my cycling hopelessness up my weight, which was something I’d always struggled with. I just assumed cycling was yet another experience my weight was holding me back from.

I ended up leaving my bike in our garden for weeks on end, occasionally glancing askance at my crushed dreams while passing by.

My passion for cycling remained, though. I’d watch enviously as the neighborhood kids pedaled around at full speed, throwing in the occasional trick, convinced they were some sort of acrobat.

Still, my overwhelming humiliation and embarrassment prevented me from trying again soon.

After watching an inspiring, thrilling Paralympian cyclist, though, I realized that I was the only thing holding me back. Not my weight, not my skill, not my bike, just my lack of resilience.

I made my mind up that I wouldn’t be the one kid who couldn’t ride a bike.

I practiced riding every day after school in my backyard. Between the bumps, bruises, broken chains, and an ever-vanishing bicycle pump, things didn’t always go smoothly, but I never let these minor setbacks hinder me from reaching my goal.

Cycling With Ease

After a couple of weeks of practice, I gradually became better, and in a short while, I cycled with ease.

Sun beaming, a smooth sense of exhilaration, breezes sailing through my hair, and the constant, yet addictive, burning-tingling in my legs, led me to unconditional love and devotion to the old sport.

Cycling has indescribably changed my life. I’ve managed to become much healthier, and I’m no longer held back by my physical abilities. I’ve experienced some of the most amusing tales, which I will undoubtedly cherish for as long as I live.

Most notably, a couple of years ago, I bought my dream vintage bike and cycled in the countryside with friends.

Let it be known that Nantes, France is the most picturesque place I’ve ever set my eyes on, and the cyclists on the biking paths are yet another pleasantry to enjoy during your visit.

Nantes, France. Credit: Pixabay

Amina is a creative writer, poet, and personal stylist from the United Kingdom.
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