Stories

Frame on Wheels

January 15, 2020

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Frame on Wheels

“When I ride my bicycle across town, I still can’t get over the refreshing feeling of the wind against my face. The sweat dripping off my brow reminds me that hard work eventually pays off.”

John Brian

To me, cycling is like a song playing on repeat, one that never loses its spark.

Turning the pedals offers a different pleasurable journey each time. New memories are made, and old ones are revived.

And when my rides end, I’m always left with a smile on my face. There’s nothing more I could wish for.

Racing My First Bicycle

Growing up, I was obsessed with bicycles, although I never owned one until sixth grade.

“How that is possible?” you’re probably wondering.

Well, it took years of pestering my mom, shedding tears, and complaining about riding my friends’ bicycles, to finally get her to buy me that blue-framed beauty on wheels.

It was a big deal! Now, I could join the other kids on my block when they held races down the street. The prize? Ice cream.

Each race started at the nearby convenience store, ran through the neighbor’s yard, and then finished at the bus stop. Hitting those three points, with my friends racing on my rear wheel, was so thrilling.

So, when my family decided to move to a new town, I was heartbroken.

Finding Inspiration Elsewhere

Not only didn’t I have any friends in my new neighborhood, but there also weren’t any active riders. But, I wasn’t willing to stop cycling just to fit in.

With free time on my hands, I made it my mission to ride at least three kilometers a day, with no intention other than to have some casual fun.

I continued this tradition for a long time until, on the 28th of September 2013, I watched a video of the UCI Road world championship online. I was so inspired by how resilient the riders were, and how mentally strong they must have been to race that course.

Auspiciously, I watched it rain hailstones for the first time later that day.

At night, I couldn’t sleep, thinking about how differently I planned to ride my bicycle. Early the next morning, I eagerly unchained my bike and set out.

Unfortunately, I got involved in an accident soon after that—one that sent me tumbling into rocks on the side of the road, leaving me wounded and bruised. I had no broken bones, but it was quite painful, nonetheless.

Thankfully, my aunt happened to drive by, spotted me on the side of the road, and applied an unknown substance to my wounds before taking me home.

She later told me that it was brake fluid, which is a common folk remedy in my country! [Editor’s note: TreadBikely does not recommend nor condone this in any way.]

Never in a million years did I think I’d learn something so important from a cycling accident.

Gratefulness in Cycling

Even today, when I ride my bicycle across town, I still can’t get over the refreshing feeling of the wind against my face. The sweat dripping off my brow reminds me that hard work eventually pays off.

Over the years, I’ve made a handful of friends from cycling, some of whom tease me over my obsession. We often race each other to see who does the other person’s chores.

Given the fact that I’m more physically fit than before—thanks in large part to cycling, I usually win. To me, it’s little moments like these that make the days worthwhile.

When it comes to cycling, every ride is a brand new adventure, and I’m eager to bike more.

In fact, I plan to enjoy a cycling adventure in several months with friends in Burgundy, France. After all, friends and bicycles make the perfect team!

Did you enjoy this cycling story? Share yours here!

John Brian is a Kenyan native who works as a freelance writer.
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