Thursday, 16 April 2015

Boys on their bikes

Two boys on bikes fly around the corner, following the sound of their own voices. They are about twelve or thirteen years old. The first boy is graceful and elegant, almost like the bike is part of him. As he comes around the corner, his hands are stretched out at his sides, like aeroplane wings, and he looks so loose and free. The second boy is everything the first boy is not. He's awkward and wobbly. He takes his hands off the handlebars for a second and the bike's frame shudders and shakes from side to side.

"How do you take your hands off without the handlebars wobbling?" he calls to the first boy.

"Balance," is the only response and not very helpful for a boy who struggles just to ride the bike.

"Yeah, I know! But when I take my hands of the handlebars, they wobble. Yours don't. How come?"



It was a futile conversation. The first boy has it naturally and it seemed miraculous that the second boy was able to ride the bike at all.

It was nice to see a couple of kids out and about on their bikes in the neighbourhood. I suddenly realised it's a rare sight these days. I remember riding my bike all over town when I was their age. We'd ride to and from school and be away for hours at a time on the weekends. Only once, did I go quite a long way and underestimate how long it would take me to get home. In the days before mobile phones, my parents must have worried about me. I did get there in the end.

I hope the second boy is really good at something that the expert bike rider isn't. That would only be fair.

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