Bikes are Evil... Until You Turn 10

I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 10 years old. I was freaking terrified of the damn things-- I was like Satchel from "Get Fuzzy." Bicycles were evil beings that were to be feared.

I don't know exactly where this bicycle-phobia originated. The only even slightly traumatic experience involving bicycles that I can remember is when I got run over by a local boy on his bike. And that time, it wasn't because of any malfunction of the bike's; it was because I was in the middle of the Pedway. He was riding down the Pedway, because it's at like the perfect angle for bike-riding with little effort, and I was like, "oh, I'm closer to this side than to that side, so I'll move the one foot that it would take to get out of his way." Unfortunately, he also moved that direction, despite the fact that there was literally 5 feet of space in the other direction. I got run over.

But I digress.
So I hated bikes until I was around 10-- so, up until three years ago. Then I got invited to go with my best friend Ruby to Ocracoke Island. Now, that wouldn't be much of a big deal bike-wise, if it was something like Topsail Island or Emerald Isle or something. But it was Ocracoke, where the accepted mode of transportation is the bicycle. And if I wanted to get anywhere on Ocracoke, I was gonna have to ride a bicycle.
Ruby couldn't really ride well either, (although she was considerably less terrified of them than I was, because she was actually SANE), so about a week before we departed for the island, she took out her little red bike. We were determined to learn, even if it cost us our knees. And elbows. And, um, every other angular area on our bodies.

So we tramped up to the Plaza, which is a circular area halfway up the Pedway, and the only really wide place in the neighborhood. There we strapped on our helmets and took turns riding for about ten feet (which is when we fell off). I have no idea why it was so hard.
When we felt we had sufficiently learned how to go more than ten feet at a time, we walked up to the top of the Pedway, and Ruby hopped on the bike again. Then I ran down to the Plaza and made sure no one was around, and howled (the neighborhood kids' favored communication was to wolf-howl). Ruby slowly rode down, stopping every twenty feet or so. When she finally reached the Plaza, we slapped high-fives and traded positions. I ran-walked the bike back up to the top, and waited for Ruby's howl. When she howled, I got on the bike and rode slowly down.

This continued for about an hour.
When we finally got to the point where we could consistently coast down the Pedway with no problem, we were thrilled. We had taught ourselves in one day what both of our fathers hadn't been able to teach us in the four years they'd been trying!
After that, Ruby and I have turned into expert bike-riders. Ocracoke has been awesome-- I've been invited every year since then-- and Ruby still has the little red bike. I have since gotten a Pepto-Bismol-pink beach cruiser, which is more comfortable for me, because I can sit up. I really need to spray-paint it a different color, though. Pink is not my favorite color, at all. :C
So yeah! That is the tale of how bikes are evil until you turn 10.

I was reminded of my bike tales because Allie at Hyperbole and a Half posted her bike story, which is slightly more painful and visual than mine. GO GIVE HER LOVES!

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