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My Bike
Nate, Age 12, Easton, CT

When I was in third grade, everybody was taking off their training wheels and learning how to ride two wheelers. I remember feeling like an outsider because I still had training wheels on my bike.

So, at the age of seven, I took my Dad’s socket wrench and unbolted my training wheels. Now, I had one more problem: my Dad was at work and he couldn’t teach me. I was disappointed about what I had to do. I walked up to my Mom and Grandma, who were discussing something in the kitchen that I couldn’t understand, and said, in the cutest way I could, “Can you teach me how to ride a big-boy bike. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.” They replied, “Sure.”

As I wheeled my new two wheeler out of the garage, the warm air consumed my bare arms and legs. I thought, “This could be very very bad,” but I was determined to learn how to ride my new bike.

At first I was afraid that I would fall off, but my Grandma held onto me as I rode. Then she let me try on my own, I concentrated very hard as I clutched the handle-bars of my yellow and black NEXT bike. I pushed off. I was doing it, I was riding my bike. I could hear my Mom scream in excitement, “Come on Nate you’re almost there.” For a moment I felt like I could do anything. Then I felt unsteady. I felt the 20 pound beast I was controlling between my legs break free. As my bike tipped, I thought “Ut oh.” As I smashed to the ground I could feel the warm pavement collide with the side of my face. I was OK, but even as I squirmed like a fish out of water, I couldn’t escape the grasp of the monster I once controlled. So I did the only thing that came natural to me at that age: I screamed “Mom, I’m stuck help!” Almost as soon as the words came out of my mouth, my Mom and Grandma started to scurry over to help me.

My Mom asked me if I was OK and I told her I was. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “Hang in there bud you can do it, I know you can.” With that in mind, I wheeled my bike back over to my Grandma (which was my starting point). I mounted my aluminum steed and got ready for another attempt, but once again I failed. After about 6 more failures I had had enough, I was ready to quit. I started to storm into the house in a rampage of anger. I was so mad I felt as if my head would explode. Then I heard, “Come on Nate one more try.” I looked over and saw my Mom and Grandma calling me over and asking me to give it one last try. That made me feel ecstatic. I raced over to my bike, picked it up and got ready to push off for the seventh time. I had my doubts though. I was nervous as all heck sitting atop my bike seat. As I sat there concentrating, I could feel my adrenalin pumping.

Then I pushed off. It was like they could see the future. I rode my bike around my Mom and back to my Grandma. As I felt the wind smash against my face as it continued it’s journey through my hair, I could smell the sweet aroma of freshly cut grass, I could feel the bumpy texture of my handle-bars and the surface of my tongue against my upper lip which I could taste, but the best of all was the cheers that came from my Mom and Gram:

“W0OOOOH”

“Go Nate”

“Good job you got it”

After that, I kicked my front foot forward and my back foot back and I came to a screeching halt as I kicked my kickstand down. I then raced to my Mom and Grandma and gave them each a big hug.

That day I learned that women can teach boys things just as well as men can. I also learned that I have two great women in my life, my Mom and my Grandma.

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