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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, April 27, 2006

faulty guidance

On another long ago day, when the Hickman Road of my youth was still paved with dirt, many guidance systems were tried and found to be faulty. One of the physical ones still stands out in my mind even after all these years. It concerned the complexities of remaining upright on a bicycle while still moving and steering in the general direction you desired to go.

My bike riding came somewhat late in life - age 11, I think - not necessarily due to a lack of coordination or dumbness on my part, but the absence of a proper sized vehicle on which to learn. I finally inherited a two-wheeler from my sister, a boy's bike, but about two sizes too big. Determination finally won out and I somewhat mastered the skills necessary for locomotion.

The basics behind me, I went on to the finer points of riding. Two of these I remember were the hook-slide stop (pretty easy on dirt) and the running start. The latter was accomplished by running beside the bike while holding the handlebars, then taking a flying leap with the goal in mind of landing with your sitter-downer on the seat and not on the crossbar, as this last experience tended to be rather painful.

Then there was the art of riding with no hands, this was intended to show the neighborhood kids that you were absolutely fearless. But this act of bravery got to be rather old hat when all of them learned to do the same.

While descending the hill on the road of my home turf one day – on my pedal powered straddle buggy – another system of bike guidance burst into my consciousness. It came to my mind so fast that I had no time to weigh out possibilities that it might have severe repercussions, it just seemed so brilliant and I knew it would make me the name on every lip in the neighborhood.

The plan was to remove my feet from the pedals - where they should be - and place them on the handlebars - where they should not be - thereby guiding my swiftly moving conveyance and being held in great awe and esteem by all the kids closely watching this activity.

Looking back, this daring plot may have worked if my hands were still on the handles when my feet left the pedals. Instead, I tried it from the "no hands" position and one foot touched before the other - causing the plan and my upright, forward moving condition to come to an almost immediate halt. This resulted in me winding up on the surface of the road in a somewhat prone, knotted up position, intertwined with various bike parts, bruised and with a bad case of dirt rash. I vowed never to try that method of guidance again.

If our way of life guidance is anything other than God's way, it will all fall apart just as surely as my failed plan, will hurt much worse, and will last a LOT longer. ec


Blogger Granny said...

Thank you so much for the reminder about the crossbar. It's not that much fun for girls either.

I use to do a lot of that, including the feet on the handlebars. It's a wonder any of us made it to adulthood.

4/28/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger country-gospel-singer said...

LOL Brought a giggle..but really not funny. You were quite the daring young man! I had to learn on a boy's bike without the peddles, just metal! LOL Blessings, Janie Marie

4/28/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger thebeloved said...

Ahh... the truth of real life reflecting the TRUTH of REAL life. How sweet it is.

4/28/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Lis said...

I was a whiz on my bike. Sure I could take any jump in the neighbourhood. In the confidence of my 6 year old mind I was certain I was the best bike rider in Canada! However, only once did I try the "hands free feet up" method of cycling. I ended up crashing into a barbed wire fence. It was my first (but hardly the most painful) lesson in the concept of "pride goeth before a fall!

Great post EC!!!

4/28/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

granny - It is truly a wonder we survived - in my case on several incidents it was just to try to impress the neighbor kids.

CGS - That was back in a day when a kid had to make do with what was available. My first bike was "inherited" and a couple of sizes too big.

thebeloved - The parables of Jesus have always impressed me because He used real life experiences to teach spiritual truths.

lis - The barbed wire crash had to be a bit painful, to say the least. I was a legend in my own mind until the reality of the crash brought me "down to earth", literally. :) ec

4/28/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...


I enjoy your stories so much!

As for riding bikes I never had one of my own, as a kid, but did get the chance to learn on a cousin's Boy bike! I fell a lot - and it was not fun!

(I am working on a post concerning a bike from my husband's young years...
Coming to a BLOG near you soon- so watch for it!) :)


4/28/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

junierose - My bike was almost always a working bike, with the huge basket to hold all the papers I had to deliver. Getting a new one never entered my mind because the old one could always be fixed. It seems that most every part was repaired at some point, especially the pedals and chain. ec

4/28/2006 10:17:00 PM  

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