LEARNING TO RIDE A BIKE
Hoi-man: Geez! I took my eye off the ball for a moment, and disaster!
Anita: What happened?
Hoi-man: Well, my younger brother, Kwok-ming turned eight last week and he’s been pestering me to teach him how to ride a bike. For the last week, we’ve been going out most evenings as soon as I get home from school.
Anita: That sounds fun! I wish I could ride a bike too!
Hoi-man: Well, it’s never too late to learn. I was twelve when Dad taught me how to ride one. Actually, I don’t have my own bike right now and we’ve been renting from the nearby bicycle shop. I’m thinking about getting one though.
Anita: Great idea!
Hoi-man: Yeah, and it’s the most eco-friendly mode of transport too. I’ve been looking around a bit and there’s a shop near Dad’s workplace that sells second-hand bikes and sports equipment. The brand-new bikes are quite expensive and Dad thought it’s better to get the used ones instead. Anyway, back to the story.
Anita: Yeah, go on.
Hoi-man: There’s an open area behind our flat and that’s where we’ve been practising. We’ve been out three times and he’s made really good progress. Until three nights ago, that is.
Anita: What do you mean?
Hoi-man: Well … the hardest thing when you start to learn to ride a bike is keeping your balance. Kwok-ming has fallen a couple of times – another reason for not getting an expensive new one – but refused to get on a learner bike. He was being his impatient self, keeps insisting he can keep his balance without the two little wheels on the back, and I’ve been holding the bike as he learns to pedal and keep his balance.
Anita: Uh oh! I see where this is going!
Hoi-man: And last night, I was holding onto the saddle when my phone rang. I let go of the saddle for just a couple of seconds and the next thing I knew, he rode off on his own and crashed into a lamp post! By the time I got to Kwok-ming, he was on the floor howling in pain with the bike on top of him.
Anita: Oh! Poor him! I hope he wasn’t badly hurt.
Hoi-man: There was a deep cut on his arm and his forehead was badly bruised. Dad took him to the hospital and the doctor said he’s also broken his left wrist.
Anita: Ouch! That sounds really bad.
Hoi-man: Yeah, he needs to stay in the hospital for a week but he’s enjoying the attention with Mum fussing over him like a mother hen, and friends and relatives bringing lots of toys and snacks. Things are not so great for me though. I got a bad scolding from my parents for not keeping an eye on him even though it wasn’t my fault! Guess I’ll have to watch him like a hawk in the future. We definitely don’t want any more accidents, thank you very much.