Lately I have thought about youth, and the wonder that I actually made it to adulthood. Growing up I had a strange feeling that things were out to get me, and this made me a bit paranoid. Like the time that my friends and I were playing that fun game of throw the stick at the moving bike.
The object was to get a stick and throw it to somehow stick between the spokes while someone was riding the bike. None of us thought it was going to work, see we're just having some fun hanging out together. My first suspicion that something ominous was going to happen was when my foot fell off my bike pedal and my leg got scraped, that bike was out to get me.
My turn came, and I took off pedaling as fast as could past my friend Jason who was throwing the stick. Just when I thought it was safe, I think my bike decided to slow down to spite me. Just then Jason hurled the stick toward my front tire, and it was a perfect shot. The stick lodged perfectly between my spokes. and flipped me over on the asphalt right on my head. I laid there stunned and confused. It took awhile before my scrambled brain started working again and I could go ally get up off the street. It's a wonder I didn't have brain damage after that fall. My bike came out in pristine condition, like nothing happened at all.
I should have never have ridden that bike again , but being a kid, I forgave and all was well, or so I thought. Later that same week, my friends wanted to ride down the hill at the end of the block. The hill was steep, and led right into a busy highway. I had my premonitions, and the paranoid feeling I felt during most of my childhood was in full effect. I shrugged off the feeling, and decided to do what my friends were doing, bad mistake.
My friends each took turns speeding down the hill on their bikes, and then hitting the brakes before they got to the highway below. My turn came, and the apprehension was consuming me, but against my better judgment I started pedalling down the long hill. Everything was going well, and I actually thought that I was safe, but that feeling was quickly replaced by horror.
First my pants got caught up in the chain, this prevented the brakes from working. Next, I saw the busy highway coming up, and briefly thought about falling over to prevent my death, but I knew it would hurt terribly bad if I did. All of a sudden I was at the highway, everything went in slow motion. The bike was rushing across the highway, cars swerving in all directions trying to avoid hitting me. I was almost all the way across, when a car hit me and the bike.
I remember flying into the air, my pants having torn loose from the teeth of the bike. I actually somehow landed on my feet and took off running for home. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I was scared to death. An older kids scooped me up, and took me to my mom. After my mom scolded me, and hugged me, we went with the police to assure the man who ran into me that I was alive.
After that near fatal day, the bike and I never really got along as well after that. Shortly afterward, I developed a love for basketball, and never thought much about that bike again. I was glad when it sold at a yard sale, at least I would be free of its maniacal clutches.