Cycling Stories

Movement, Wind, and Mastery

May 18, 2020

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Movement, Wind, and Mastery

“I knew I had given him a wonderful gift: to be able to taste the joy of movement, wind, and mastery.”

Jenni Ho-Huan 

During school break, we loved to hang out at the beach. The shoreline didn’t extend forever, but the bike trails around it seemed to, which always had a biker or two whizzing by. I didn’t know how to be one of them, but how I wanted to!  

Walking seemed to take forever. Plus, in the hot tropics, biking was an exercise that let you feel the coolness as you rode into the wind. 

One morning in school, our teachers told us that lessons were canceled for the remainder of the day. I grabbed a friend, and we headed off to the beach and rented each of us a bike. I climbed on top, pushed off, and pedaled. I kept turning those wheels, and before I knew it, I was cycling! 

It felt so good to ride faster than walking on foot, feel the wind in my face, and master a machine. The exhilaration burned into my body’s memory. The only downside was my poor spatial sense, which made me nervous and caused me to crash into a dustbin at one point.  

Still, the joy I’d discovered was not the least tampered. I got up, straightened my bike, hopped back on, and off I went again. 

When my son was old enough, we bought him a bike, and I took him downstairs to test the wheels. He was naturally unsure and reluctant, but a few days later, he was squealing in delight at the mojo he was experiencing. I knew I had given him a wonderful gift: to be able to taste the joy of movement, wind, and mastery. 

There are magical moments that feel life-giving. My morning at the east coast during my first successful ride — and the moment when I let go and saw my son move steadily forward on his tiny bike all by himself — are two such moments for me. 

Jenni Ho-Huan is a writer and passionate cyclist from Singapore.
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