Biking Basics - personal narrative by Katelyn H. (10-13-11)

Biking Basics
by Katelyn H. (Oct 13th, 2011)

Well, you know those people that are good at something they really enjoy right from the start?  Well, sadly I’m not one of those people.  From the very beginning my family thought I was going to be a great biker because of my passion for watching people riding their bikes.  Boy they were wrong!

You see, my family is really good at biking.  Well, except for me and my brother, Kyle.  My Aunt Stacy is a pro mountain biker and everyone expected me to be just like her.

This idea popped into my Dad’s head one day when he was at home watching a biking show, “Maybe Katelyn will like to learn how to ride a bike if I get her a really cool one.”  The truth was, I was quite scared to ride a bike because I had recently seen a biker on TV almost die!  I was afraid that if I got on the bike and tried to ride I would fall off and die.  It wasn’t my fault, I was only 5 at the time.  

So, when I was at preschool and it was my birthday my Dad went to the bike shop called World Bikers.  He picked out a pink bike with blue and pink ribbons.  When he went to check out the casher was looking like he was trying really hard not to laugh.  The cashier choked trying not to laugh and said this, “Sir-chuckle-don’t you think-chuckle-that bike-chuckle-is a little too-chuckle-small and girly-chuckle-for you-chuckle?”  Then he burst out laughing and you could see my Dad’s face getting red.

“Please just scan the bike,” he said with his teeth clenched together and his hands balled into fists.  Together the total of the bike, helmet, knee pads and elbow pads was $199.99.  He drove home thinking what a genius he was and said it gleefully to himself, “She is going to love it!”

Indeed I did!  Just as my class finished singing Happy Birthday my Dad walked in with a smile that seemed to stretch all around his head.  “I have a special present that I think you will really like,” he said with a grin.  

I ran outside with all my friends following and I screamed in surprise, “Oh my gosh it’s a bike!  Thank you Daddy!  Thank you!”  All my friends kept going on about how lucky I was.  I couldn’t wait to ride it…or maybe not.

The first time my Dad tried to teach me didn’t work out so well.  So that Friday afternoon my Dad tried to get me to ride the bike.  He said, It will be so much fun and you can become a pro like the people on T.V.”  I still refused to get on the bike and I threw a giant tantrum because I didn’t want to even sit on the bike. 

 It took 3 weeks before I even would get on the bike.  When I first started to ride, I insisted that my Dad hold on.  One day I was riding and I said, “This is fun and getting very easy.”  All of the sudden he let go.  I could feel my heart race like it beat every time a runner in a marathon took a step.  I had totally given up trying and I hit a rock that tipped my bike.  I flew off and landed on concrete.  My bike tipped over and landed on me.  I was screaming Bloody Murder like I broke my leg.  Turns out I only got a scrape because I had forgotten my knee pads.  The thing is it wasn’t an ordinary scrape, but a big one!  It went from my knee to a little above the ankle.  After that I refused to touch my bike.

I finally tried riding my bike again but I made my Dad promise that he would warn me before he let go.  So off we went with a fresh new start.  

When we arrived I was a little hesitant as I stuttered, “I d-do’t kk-know about this Ddad!”  “The Hampton’s are not quitters!” he declared with a fiery look in his eyes.  I ran down the hill to Lacy Park my head was spinning as if it were a Ferris wheel.  My stomach felt as if I ate caterpillars for lunch and they were turning into butterflies in my stomach.  Thoughts raced into my head like, “What if you fall off of the bike again and this time actually break your leg!”  “Too late for worrying,” I thought silently to myself as I got on the bike.  My Dad said, “Ready?” Set! Go!”  He gave me a giant push and suddenly I was alone.  I felt stiff with fear and wanted to freeze up but I knew I had to keep peddling.  When I got the hand of it I would feel the wind blowing through my hair.  The trees seemed to be whispering, “Congratulations,” softly in the wind.  So, I randomly shouted out, “Thank you!”  Everyone seemed to stare at me but I didn’t care.

Finally, I had done it!  I had ridden on my bike around Lacy Park on my own.  From that point on I practiced as much as I could.  The sad part was that I didn’t have much time and Lacy Park wasn’t very close but still I tried.  It was very hard and frustrating, even painfully but by 9 years old I was ridding pretty darn good.  Now sometimes I ride some trails even as long as 14 miles with my Aunty Stacy.  “What?  All right, I’m coming,” I say to Aunty Stacy.  Sadly my brother is going through the same thing at the moment because this might take a while.  I hope he will be patient.