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A Tale of Two Wheels Ben Levy 11, April

The Wife and I bought bikes today. Which reminds me of the story of the second time I rode a bicycle by myself.

I say “by myself”, but it’s important to note that most of my family was present for the spectacle. And I say “second time” because I had just graduated from training wheels the day before.

So that night was the big reveal. One night only. The main event. And I was in the spotlight. Only it was around twilight, which meant there were multiple spotlights. And they weren’t spotlights. More like lampposts.

Anyhow, I was going to show my whole family how great I was at bike riding. I had done this. Just the other day, in fact. And while that was the first time, I felt supremely confident I could do it again.

The Plan was as follows: ride out of my driveway, cross the court, turn a wide circle in the neighbors two-car driveway, and return.

It’s a good thing for this story that that is not what happened. If it had been, this would be a rather poor tale. No pacing. Barely any separation of beginning, middle, end. Up until now there hasn’t even been a cliffhanger. And so it’s fortunate that The Plan did not happen as previously described.

Because what a good story requires is an unexpected twist. Like the one I performed when I suddenly realized that the neighbors had parked one of their cars in their driveway, necessitating a rather sharp turn.

You might point out that a car is a rather large thing, and difficult to miss when one is riding directly at it. To which I would point out that that was precisely the reason I had to jerk my bike so hard to avoid it. And also that it’s presence in the driveway might have been less of a surprise had I not been so busy looking over my shoulder as I crossed the court. Just to make sure my entire family was watching me.

They say pride goeth before the fall. What they neglect to mention is that immediately after the fall, the spike on the bike chain goeth directly into the knee.

Then there’s the bleeding, the crying, the screaming, and the being carried by one’s father back into the house in a way that was at once very similar to- and not at all like- being triumphantly carried on the shoulders of one’s family members after successfully riding a bike in front of them.

As I said, The Wife and I bought bikes today. And went for our first ride. Should my second second ride prove anywhere near as exciting as my first second ride, I’ll be sure to tell you about it.

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