The Bike Ride
Michael, Age 14, Woodburn, OR

It was a hot and sunny day but I was frozen with fear. My dad had just told me that I was going to have to try to learn how to ride a bike. I couldnít even think of what to say so I just nodded my head slowly.

I was hoping that riding a bike would just be one of those things I could not bring up for a while until everyone forgot. Unfortunately I was wrong and I felt like I only had half an hour to live. Once my mind cleared I realized what was happening I desperately tried to get out of riding my bike. I tried to convince my dad that I was feeling sick, and I said I had too much homework but my dad was adamant and said I had to go. I was scared beyond belief as we started loading our bikes into the van but I knew there was no possible way to avoid this.

We drove out to Settlemier Park late in the afternoon but the sun was still up. As I stepped out of the van I could fell a gentle breeze blowing. We unloaded my bike and I got my helmet on. I got onto my bike and then my dad told me to just start pedaling and that heíd hold on to me. I started going and when I reached the end of the parking lot my dad was all the way across where I started. My jaw dropped with amazement and I felt so grown up right at that moment because I could ride a bike without training wheels.

Now that I could ride a bike I started going around on it everywhere around the park. Then I suddenly got the bright idea that I should test how well my brakes worked downhill. I rode over to the top of the small hill and got in position to ride. I kicked off with the tip of my foot which could barely touch the ground. I started going extremely fast and my feet could barely keep up with the pedals. Right as I hit the bottom of the going top speed my feet slipped of the pedals. I panicked and couldnít control the handle bars so my bike turned off the trail and I was headed straight towards a big fir tree. Right as I was about to hit the tree, something happened to steer my bike to just barely miss it. By that time my bike slowed down but instead of stopping I just kind of rolled off my bike.

I wasnít hurt at all except for a couple of scratches. I decided that was enough excitement for one day but we didnít go straight home. First we stopped at Dairy Queen as a reward for my major accomplishment. I ordered my usual Oreo blizzard and after all that happened, that little treat made it all worth it.

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