I Believe in Biking

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Whoosh, zoom, rocketing, flying down a hill at unsettling speeds is my love, my passion, biking. I love biking more than anything in the world. Biking gives me that rush of adrenaline that I crave to get my blood flowing and my heart racing. Like any good biker though; the excitement doesn’t come without paying the price. In my case, flipping over the handlebars and skidding head first down a hill of unforgiving asphalt. I believe in the power of redemption.

It was a beautiful sunny day in the suburbs of Baltimore. We hadn’t been there more than an hour when Corey, one of my godparent’s kids, asked if I wanted to ride down this steep hill around the corner from their house. Unknowing of the unfortunate outcome that awaited me at the bottom of the monstrous hill, I agreed to go with him.

Walking out to the garage, the butterflies in my stomach awoke; I was given the ride that would almost kill me. As I looked over the bike I noticed that the bike lacked one important detail, pedal brakes. Being only ten years old, I didn’t know how to use hand brakes, which this particular bike had. He asked, “is everything okay?” Obviously, not wanting to sound like a sissy, I answered, “Yeah let’s go.” We rode out of the garage on two crappy bikes without helmets down the long driveway. Pedaling and pedaling we made the trek up the treacherous hill. At the top we rested and counted; three, two, one, and Corey went flying down the hill at speeds that at the time were unfathomable to me. As I looked down the hill; eyes focused on one goal; making it down alive. With one foot on the pedal and the other pushing off the ground I was off. My journey slowly began, but quickly gained intense speeds, as I was flying down the hill, my handlebars started wiggling fiercely; the whole bike started violently throwing me around. A strike of fear came upon my face as my handlebars jack knifed and the next thing I knew I was going head first over the handlebars skidding on my face down the unforgiving asphalt. I could taste the asphalt, black, bland, rough. I stood up; looking down I noticed something, the red of my blood that now painted the street. Through the blood and the tears I managed to move the mangled, now destroyed bike from the middle of the road to the side where I sat down and waited for my parents to arrive to help me.

The lesson that I learned that day has stuck with me since then. First, wear a helmet, luckily I was unharmed and left with only cuts and bruises but from then on I always have worn a helmet. Second, you’ll never learn how to become better at something if you don’t experience bad things. I feel like my misfortune has taught me to get up after you fall and don’t let a little thing like a fall stop you from doing what you love.

By: Max Gold