One sunny afternoon, I was playing with a neighborhood friend. We were riding our bikes down Clover Road. Clover Road extended up high and going down the gravel hill was thrill-inducing. After doing that a couple times Ella dared me to go down another hill, the one on Summit Drive. Now Summit Drive was a smooth and paved, a street that went past the end of the top of Clover’s hill by a few blocks and went even farther down, needless to say at the solid age of eight, my parents told me I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike up there.
The last road at the base of the mountain.
I looked at it, I glanced at my friend, and began my walk up the hill. Constantly telling myself that I can do this, I can go down this hill, look I can even getting a head start here, man I am really going to feel like I can fly!
And fly, I did.
I pushed off the pavement, my feet moving as fast as they could. Eventually the peak of the road started to descend, I gained speed, I took the bend in the road and I started to feel wobbly. When you go this fast how to do you stop? Is it different from before? The road gently sloped back to being flat, but I never made it that far.
I applied my brakes way too soon, pedalling backwards with enough gusto to just throw me off my bike and into the shoulder that was littered with dirt, gravel and shattered glass.
I picked myself up, my silent tears streaming down my dirt stained face. With fresh cuts up and down my exposed arms, I grabbed my bike and I began the slow and painful walk home, leaving drops of blood in my wake and doing my best to avoid passing Ella’s house. I walked into the house and my mother was immediately concerned with what happened. Clover Road had recently been churned up, and gravel smeared across the road in the place of the smooth pavement that was there a month prior, so on my way home I felt that it would make sense that I crashed on Clover Road and then I wouldn’t get in trouble for biking somewhere I wasn’t allowed to be.
I am not sure if my mom ever found out where I really was biking that day, if she knew I was lying, because mom’s tend to know these things, but regardless I never got in trouble for getting hurt. However, I was promptly put into the shower where, as my bleeding wounds were cleaned, the pain stung a little worse.
*Return to present day.*
According to my calculations, at this point in my ride I should be approaching the Applachians soon. This is the portion of the ride that I have been the most apprehensive about since the beginning (see story from above). I think after a lot more experience riding that I can handle this, but every hill still brings back the fear from the day I fell off my bike on Summit Dr.
Have you ever been in a bike accident? How did you compel yourself to get back in the saddle?