Episode 10: My First Bicycle Crash
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This story I’m going to tell you today it’s about a time when I was maybe five or six years old. It’s when I first learned how to ride a bicycle. So, my first bicycle it was a Batman bicycle. You know… nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Batman! So, I really liked that movie when I was little, and my first bicycle was a Batman bicycle. And when I was little we also had cards… like a baseball cards. You know they’re very stiff. So, we would attach… we would put the baseball cards on the bicycle, and then it would hit the wheel of the bicycle.
And it’d make a sound, you know, like a motorcycle. So, I always had baseball cards on my bicycle and you could hear the my bicycle coming like a motorcycle. So, there was also, a Batman sign on the handlebars. So, if you’re looking at the bicycle from the front you would see the big bat sign like Batman: black and yellow. And so, the brakes on the bicycle, you know, to stop the bicycle… those weren’t on the handlebars. So, you don’t use your… Well, I couldn’t use my hands to stop the bicycle. You know, you have to use your feet. And so, you pedal the bicycle to go, yeah, pedal… And then you move your feet backwards and that stops. So, that’s the brakes. You use your feet for the brakes. That will be important to know later.
So, I was five or six years old and I was learning how to ride the bicycle. My dad was helping me learn how to ride the bicycle. And I remember trying to learn for a long time. At first they were, you know, a bicycle has two wheels. But when you’re learning how to ride the bicycle, you have the two little wheels in the back of the training wheels. So, I had training wheels on my bicycle for a long time. You don’t want to take both off at the same time. So, my dad took one wheel off. So, I had the two bicycle wheels and only one training wheel I think it was on the right side.
And I can’t remember how long I had that training wheel for, but eventually it was time to take off the last training wheel, and learn how to ride just with the two bicycle wheels. So, I don’t remember that being difficult. But my dad had to change, he had to adjust, make small changes, he had to adjust the back tire, the back wheel, of the bicycle, several times. And one time it was too loose, and the wheel was wobbly, and then the tire was too tight. And I couldn’t move it. I couldn’t pedal to move the wheel at all. And eventually he changed it and it was just right but that was just to take off the training wheel. But, I don’t remember trying the bicycle more that day.
Let me tell you about the place where I used to live. So, where we lived: it was on a hill and our house was near the top, not all the way at the top, but near the top of the hill. I had a friend who lived higher up on the hill and at the bottom of the hill was a very busy road, a man that I was very scared of. There were also, lots of really beautiful birds that lived in our neighborhood. And outside there was a lot of grass in people’s yards, and I really enjoyed to run outside without shoes, so, bare feet. So, a few times I stepped in dog poop so, you had to be careful of where you walked so you didn’t step in dog poop. And there was another time… a few other times… where I stepped on a bee. And the bee stung me. But I was careful to not step in poop or step on flowers. Just walk on the grass… walk on the sidewalk… Yeah so, it was a very nice neighborhood. And I often went outside with no shoes.
Well, I think it was a weekend and I wanted to go play a game. I wanted to play the Nintendo: Mario. Yeah so, the game was at my friend’s house. And my friend lived on top of the Hill and I wanted to get that game from my friend. So, I decided I’d go over to my friend’s house to get the game. And it was just at the top of the hill. And I thought: well, I just learned how to ride the bicycle… Why don’t I take my bicycle? And because it was such a nice day, I didn’t think about wearing shoes… because I always went outside with no shoes. So, I got on the bicycle, and I rode up the hill with no shoes on. I knocked on the door and my friend was not at home. So, I just had to come back.
There were lots of birds outside that day. I just looked at some of the birds. There were blue jays, you know, those blue birds. And they were cardinals, those red birds. And, I thought about how I wanted a bird myself.
And I remember earlier that year.
I told my mother… well, I asked her. I said, “can I have a bird?”
And she said, “no honey, you can’t have a bird”
And then I said, “what if I catch the bird?”
She said, “yes honey, if you can catch a bird, you can have it.”
And I thought about the time when, you know, that old scary man at the bottom of the hill?
Well, I was walking by his house one day and I saw a bird in his in the grass in his yard. And so, I just ran up to the bird. I actually caught the bird in my hands. And the bird looked really scared and it was tweeting really loudly. And then suddenly the old man was there. And the old man was yelling at me. And so, I let the bird go and ran away. So, ever since then I was scared of that man.
Anyways… So, I was just telling you a little bit about that old man at the bottom of the street. Because, like, I thought about him when I saw the birds on my bicycle. So, where was I? I was… Yeah! I was at the top of the hill getting the game from my friend’s house. But my friend was not home. So, I was going back home. So, I started down the hill on my Batman bicycle with no shoes on. And I tried to stop. So, I could go to my house. I tried to slow down, but I couldn’t. When I moved my feet to use the brakes to stop the bicycle, it didn’t work. So, there were no brakes at all. I just kept going faster and faster and faster. And then I flew by my house. And I started to scream. But I was just going too fast. There was nothing anyone could do to help me. I wasn’t on the road anymore. I was on the sidewalk. Because I was trying to get off the road to my house, and I got on the sidewalk. But then I passed my house. And I kept going down and down and down. And I knew at the bottom of the hill there was that busy road with all the cars. So, I knew I would die if I continued into that road at the bottom of the hill. So, I tried to slow down the only way I knew I could. So, I took my feet… my left foot, and my toes, and I curled my foot up… so… and then I curled up my foot, my toes. And I used the top of my feet… the top of my toes and I pushed down really hard on the ground. And I don’t remember this hurting at all. But I tried to slow down by doing that. But the bicycle kept going faster and faster. So, I tried that again, then again. I think at least three times. I tried to stop with my foot, but I couldn’t. And then at the bottom of the hill I knew I had to make a decision: it was run into the tree, and maybe live, or continue down and fly into the busy road, and probably die. So, I chose the tree, and I turned the bicycle into the tree and slammed into the tree… crashed really hard… flew upside down… landed. And I don’t remember it hurting at all. But I know I was screaming really hard really really loudly.
And then that scary old man came out, and then he came to help me. And so, I felt even more scared. And then he walked me back to my house with my bicycle. And then my mom came out to get me.
And, I don’t know how the bicycle did that. Maybe my dad didn’t put the bicycle back together right… or something… Or I don’t know what happened… I don’t remember… But yeah… My toes… you could actually see the bone on my toes. Don’t worry! No scars! Nothing’s wrong with my feet today, but you could see the white bone of my toes. I can’t remember it hurting or anything. I do remember something hurting… my feet had to be… my foot had to be washed with soapy water. I can’t remember if I went to the hospital, but I did wear some bandages on my feet. So, we had to wrap my foot with a bandage.
Anyways, that was one scary time on the bicycle! But I’m not scared of riding the bicycle. But when I go down the hill, even today, I use the brakes… I check the brakes before I start going down the hill.