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Of My First Bike

bike(This photo is being posted here with permission from the talented Vicki Hunt. Do visit her website and be in awe of her skills in photography. Thanks, Vicki!)

I was at a fellow blogger’s site where he wrote about his father. That reminded me of an article I have written many months ago where I wrote about my first bike and how I learned to ride it through my father’s patience. I am resurrecting the article here.

Having been raised in a very remote town, my first idea of a bicycle came from an old magazine that was left in our house by a visitor from the city. It was the first time I saw that two-wheeler thing and it haunted my curious young mind. I wondered how it would feel to ride on it, to go against the wind, or ride along the wind’s direction.

My first close encounter with a real bike was when my father bought a new one, a big one, which he used in his job as the town’s mailman. It was to become the only bike in that small sleepy village. I had to wait for a few years before I was allowed to learn to ride. By that time, the bike was already old and worn out but it still worked—as if it purposely waited until it was time for me learn how to ride.

My father taught me the most basic skills needed in riding a bicycle. He taught me through the traditional way—he ran along with me every afternoon for many days. I was still a bit small for the bike but he managed to teach me how to operate it. “Maintain balance otherwise you will fall.” “Pedal, just pedal, to keep moving.” These were his constant reminders.

When I learned to get the bike going on my own, my young heart was pleased. My dream had turned into a reality. No longer was I daydreaming to ride a bike, I was actually riding it and steering it on my own.

My father’s rickety bike became my magical carpet taking me around the neighborhood whenever I was off from school or free from doing household chores. One early morning, I dared to bike to a nearby hill. The narrow road was a challenge as well as the climb. But the prize was worth it: the view from the hill. Sitting next to my bike, I would be overwhelmed by the immensity of nature before my eyes—the sprawling ricefields, the rising sun, the animals in the nearby farm, the tall and big trees which have withstood weather and time, and the serene river which leads to the calm sea surrounding the town. When it is time to go home, I would be thrilled by the smooth downward drive as much as I was thrilled by the upward climb.

The old bike was also my escape. When I was sad, the first thing I would think of was hop on my bicycle and ride away to the seashore or dart toward the farm and lose myself behind the tall talahib grass.

On most Saturdays, I would look forward to visiting some of my classmates. As I steered my bicycle to their houses, I would see familiar faces walking along the way, smiling at me and sometimes calling out my name and waving as I passed by them. They were neighbors, distant relatives, family friends. One good thing about living in a small village is that you know everyone so well.

I have said goodbye to my old bike many years ago. It did not withstand time. I have had more bicycles, but the memories of the first bike I rode on still live on. Today, whenever I ride a bike, it makes me remember the small but beautiful village I grew up in and its warm-hearted and hospitable people. It brings back a vivid mental image of my father patiently running beside me as I struggled to maneuver the handlebars. It makes me realize that riding a bicycle is like riding through life’s stages: you have to keep pedaling and you have to maintain balance in order to move on. And sometimes, just sometimes, the downward drive in life could, in the end, bring blessings and rewards as in the upward climb.

thestreet(The street where my father patiently taught me how to ride a bike.)

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 8:02 am.


14 Replies

  1. that street is very reminiscent of my barrio siete hahaha really similar haha

  2. nortehanon Nov 22nd 2008

    i guess almost all streets in the countryside are barrio siyete lookalike 😀

    thank you for dropping in.

  3. that’s very nice post:) as if I can make another post on my blog too, hahaha! hope you have a great day:)

  4. nortehanon Nov 25th 2008

    Hello A Grateful Heart,
    Thank you. You have just posted another interesting post at your blog. I was just there a few minutes ago hahaha!

    Have a blessed day.

  5. blessed day, nortehanon!,

    first let me thank you for paying me a visit. 2nd for the link. 3rd, for the warm comment (yah, i couldnt control myself becoming so sensitive at times). 4th, for sharing me/us this beautiful article – you know those childhood memories of ours with them, will touch and inspire even the stonest of hearts… i luv this. more of this..and more of ur life-giving stories..

    oh, how nice to have the photo of your actual street taken when ur learning w/d ur dad, ..i supposed to have something like this in my for-father’s post…it’s like we’re walking with u there..

    “It makes me realize that riding a bicycle is like riding through life’s stages: you have to keep pedaling and you have to maintain balance in order to move on. And sometimes, just sometimes, the downward drive in life could, in the end, bring blessings and rewards as in the upward climb”. this is true. very true. ironically, however, we just learn to appreciate its meaning when we become adults..

    i’ll be seeing u again :)!

  6. nortehanon Nov 25th 2008

    Hello AJ!
    Nice to see you here again. Naks, and dami namang pasasalamat nun — parang honor roll: merong 1st hanggang 4th. Sige, I’d say “Walang anuman” hahaha.

    Luv ko yang street na ‘yan. I spent most of my childhood there.


  7. where is that (the pic of a place where you learned how to ride a bike)?
    btw, thanks for dropping by my site. 🙂
    can i add you at my blogroll? your page seems really interesting. 🙂

  8. nortehanon Dec 3rd 2008

    Hello Episode!
    Salamat po!
    Happy to see you here.
    That street is in a very remote town in Northern Samar.
    Sure! Salamat sa pag-add. Add din kita.
    Maraming salamat uli 🙂

  9. Hi again! wow, that’s good to hear. I added you already. This blog is such a great “reading material” for me.
    I’ve always wanted to go to Samar (we had 2 family helpers in the past who are from Samar and they told me how beautiful their place is) but to no avail. Given the chance (and budget.. haha!) I will go there! 🙂

  10. nortehanon Dec 4th 2008

    Wow, salamat at napadaan ka uli. Nasa site mo ako kanina kaso updating pa raw ang i.ph.

    Yes, maganda siya kung sa maganda. Kaso lang, I have to admit na marami pang parts ang undeveloped. Although meron na ring pangilan-ngilan na mga resorts being developed there pati mga lodging inns that are decent.

    Let me know kapag nakarating ka dun…or better yet, bago ka pumunta dun 😉

  11. yes. i.ph is under maintenance… forever.. haaaay… i have multiply, i had 2 blogspot accounts.. pero never pa ko nasatisfy.. maybe because they are free. 😀 kaya eto bloghopping muna ko coz i cant update my blog pa. ang dami ko na kelangan isulat. haha.
    madami pang nasa listahan ko ng next destination. i hope i can go to samar! 🙂

  12. nortehanon Dec 7th 2008

    “..pero never pa ko nasatisfy.. maybe because they are free.”—> Natawa naman ako dito hahaha. Ikaw pa lang ang taong nakilala ko na hindi na-satisfy sa free hahaha.

    Wow, ang dami mo naman blog. Ako nga nangangamote na ako trying to find time to post here, especially that I am busy at work and with my little pens project. Aside from this, I have a blog showing my collection of postcards, pero medyo tagal na rin hindi ko na-update.

  13. ah kase di na ko halos natutulog sa kakasulat. hahaha. 😀
    pagkagaling sa work direcho agad sa kwarto. update forever. haha. 😀

  14. it was my father who taught me how to ride the bike, too. when i was a kid, he loved to take me for a ride. one of my early memories was the time we had an accident. i was about 3 years old then. after a long ride to the city, he tried to rest by holding on to a parked kalesa. while he was doing so, i fell to the ground. i felt ok. i was more confused than hurt. when he picked me up, however, i started to cry. i guess that’s standard reaction kids always make. 🙂

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