Life experience riding a bicycle

            My life changed the day it arrived. It was my 9th birthday.  My mother had told me that she had a special birthday surprise waiting for me, and I couldn’t wait to get home to see what it was.  All I’d wanted since I was 5 was a puppy.  My attention drifted away from my teacher and on to the hands of clock.  Finally, the agony was over.  I would finally get  the gift that I had been waiting for.  I would finally have the puppy that I had always wanted.

            They told me it was on the back porch, waiting for me. My mother had insisted that I close my eyes. I envisioned a golden retriever puppy, soft and fluffy and ready to bound it to my arms and shower me with love. But when I opened my eyes all I saw was a bike.  It was cold and emotionless much like my parents who I thought  did not love me, their only daughter at all!

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            I stared long at the bike unable to figure out what it was that I was supposed to do with it.  Unlike the puppy that I had wanted, the bike did not come up to me to greet me after school and neither did it come to me when  I beckoned to it.  Instead, the bike stood at the corner of the garage, slowly gathering dust.  I know that I should have been more grateful or happy since this was a gift from my parents but I could not help but blame them and gradually grew distant from them.  Things got even worse when my parents saw the unused and perhaps unappreciated bike and forced me to get bike riding lessons.

            The next Saturday after breakfast was my first bike riding lesson with my grandfather.  I sat on the back porch as he installed the training wheels. I timidly approached the bike, thinking that it would somehow jump up and bite me.  Yet, as I looked at it and saw my grandfather and my dad work on the bike, I saw just how excited they were.  It was like memories of their childhood had been brought back by the bicycle.  Realizing this, I decided to cast my resentment aside and give the bicycle a chance.

            The first time was the hardest because I was unsure how such a feeble contraption could carry my weight, much less move me forward.  As the bicycle started to gain speed, so did my delight.  This bicycle could possibly be even better than that puppy that I had always wanted.  By the time the day had ended, I had forgotten all the negative feelings I had for my parents and had convinced myself that this was the best gift in the world!

            For the first time in weeks, I was alive.  The world seemed better and it was so large that I wanted to explore every part of it on my bicycle.  Even better, the bicycle brought me closer to my father as he would accompany me as I biked around the neighborhood.  We developed a better relationship as we formed an exploration team.  We would go places and try to find places that we had not previously explored.  The best gift was giving me some of the best memories of my life.

            Today I discovered that “it’s just like riding a bike” is a horrible expression. I got on my old bike after years of not riding and discovered to my shock and surprise that I was scared to death.  It was like all those memories I had with my dad had disappeared and were now replaced by fear of getting injured.  It didn’t help that there’s a very steep hill just outside of my garage, so I had no sooner put my butt on the saddle for the first time in 36 months than I was screaming down the hill.  And by screaming I don’t mean the bike, I mean me…like a school…child.

            Yet, the same as it was years ago, as the bike started to gain speed and my fear slowly subsided I rediscovered the special relationship that I had with my bicycle.  I remembered the days that I had with my dad.  I remembered how I explored the world.  More importantly, it made me realize just how much my perspective in life had changed because of that bicycle.  It not only repaired my relationship with my parents but it also gave me the confidence to succeed in life.  It was not a simple bike, it was the vehicle to my future.

1. What was your purpose? What effect were you trying to achieve?

The purpose of the paper was to describe the independence that learning to ride a bike had given me.  It also wanted to emphasize how the event of learning how to ride a bike taught me so much more about myself in life.  My relationship with my parents and the confidence that I needed in life.

2. What was interesting about the process you went through in writing this paper, and what did you learn from it?

I found it challenging to begin writing the paper.  My childhood was so full of happy experiences and memories that it was difficult to limit the events to a single subject.  There are so many important events in my childhood that it was difficult to limit it to single event that embodied all of my fears and aspirations.

3. What was the most difficult aspect about this paper, and what did you learn from the attempt?

The most difficult part of the paper was putting it all down in words.  Memories of my childhood are so vivid and colorful when I play them in my mind that I often fear that I am not able to convey the significance of these events to my life.

4. What do you see as the strengths of the paper, and what would you try to do if you were to revise it some more?

I feel that the strength of this paper has to do with the imagery and the theme.  It is often difficult to relate one’s experiences in life to objects.  Perhaps, if I had a chance to revise this paper I would fix more the tone and include a development of the characters so that the readers would be able to relate more.

5. What’s not a part of your paper that you think might help a reader understand or appreciate it more? What didn’t you put in?

The background of the arguments that I had with my parents while growing up.  Creating the background would have given the reader the chance to fully understand the significance of the event.

6. What kind of feedback or response would you like from your instructor?

I would like to learn more about creating imagery and more colorful scenes as well as the development of characters in a narrative story.


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