Cycling Stories

Four Wheeled Two-Wheeler

June 6, 2020

Four Wheeled Two-Wheeler

Hurriedly, she thought she rode down that narrow road 
Through the thick, white snow, toward the rusty pole 
“Three houses left till she reaches the goal,” whispered her older cousin from the door 
Patiently waiting his turn, because he couldn’t ride his scooter on the dense blanket 
How does a small human play in such cold weather with no feathers? 
I continue to watch her through the frosty window 
It’s summer, and Denise continues to nag about removing her training wheels 
She has had enough 
“Bill’s bike no longer has four wheels like mine. His has one big back wheel!” 
“Removing them is tough,” 
Lies lazy dad who would have to teach her how to ride 
Laying on the pavement in the back yard, Denise’s knee continues bleeding 
“I told you not to remove your trainer wheels” shouts dad, running out the back 
Small human doesn’t always listen 
“It feels,” she cries, “like I’ve been stabbed!” 
Don’t cry so loud Denise, it’s just a scab 
Her wheels will not be going anywhere until she’s seven 
“I will never ride a bike again,” she says 
It’s been months since the small human has ridden her bike 
Bill got a new one, so she also wants one. Why, you ask? 
This one is now a bit too small for her 
The color purple is a bit too bright for her 
The decorative pom-poms are a bit too childish for her 
Small human is so picky—a bike is a bike, isn’t it? 
I thought she stopped riding because the tires had no air… 
Her mom and dad never did buy her a new bike that year 
Or the next year, or the next, and so on, for half a decade 
Finally, “Denise, we got you a bike for your seventeenth” 
The new bike, that is now the perfect size for her 
Has grey handles, which is the perfect color for her 
It even came without the trainer wheels, which is the perfect shape for her 
“I’m too old,” she thought, “to ride a bike.” 
Small human really wanted headphones, the latest type 
A few weeks of boredom pass until she changes her mind 
“Maybe I’ll ride just this one time.” 
Or two times, or three times, and so on for a decade 
Small human has been in seven marathons now 
“The Olympics?” she thought, “Am I really that good now?” 
“Three laps left till twenty-seven year old Denise Caffyn reaches the goal,” 
Roars the commentator to all the fans in the stalls 
She is so fast, I thought, small human rides with all her soul 
I watch the telly, through the bars of my cage 
She’s my small human, no matter what age.

Auyanerudo Rukuni is from Harare, Zimbabwe.

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