Thursday, 28 June 2012
"If you come between 1st to 10th position in school this term, I will buy you a bicycle", said the mother...
Well, for some reason I wasn't one of those who always came 1st in class but I survived and that term, I'm pretty sure I even got promoted on trial. There's this thing about parents where they threaten and punish you but at some point they may still get you what you asked for, even though you didn't achieve what they wanted (or sometimes, they just beat the shit out of you). To cut the long story short, I think I still got a bicycle because my elder brother (who was the smart one) did really well in school. To avoid a Cain and Abel situation, the parents decided to get him a bicycle and got one for me too in order for peace to reign. That was a wise move because knowing how mischievous I was, I would have deflated his tyres every night if I didn't get a bike too (insert straight face smiley).I had my bike for about a year before I was able to get rid of my fear of falling and actually teach myself how to ride.
Welcome to 2012
As a child I knew of only 2 types of bikes; "BMX and Chopper". I heard some even had gears but I never rode one or knew how that worked. This knowledge prepared me for my Osuofia moment when 20+ years later I decided to reunite with bicycles in a bid to be fit and to avoid waiting for buses and trains. It was one of those mornings when I needed to use a taxi butvcouldn't get one; it was even more annoying because if I had a bike I'd have made that short trip in about 30minutes. In a random moment I decided to get a bike after work. I chose to be a Nigerian and go for a "Ghen Geun" (big name, modern)one. The guy at the store asked me if I wanted one with 18 gears or 21 gears and I said "Hian, what's the difference please?"... Who would have thought bicycles had gears? who would have thought they have up to 21 gears? All I needed was two wheels to ride.It gave me greater joy when I reported my Osuofia moment to the brother and he didn't know about the plenty gears too. Sounds silly and unnecessary, but I had learnt something new from the simplest thing like a bicycle.
Being a Nigerian, it is typical to act like you know: why should I read a manual to ride a bike? Even though the last time I rode a bike Was when I was about 10years old. Proud as a cock, I took the bike to the road and started riding. The guy at the store made the seat so high, he claimed that was the way to do it. He forgot to tell me my two legs wouldn't touch the floor if I stood straight on it. You can imagine my fear and shock when a massive truck sped past me and almost blew me and my two wheels off the road.The ground was a long way away to fall and I was riding down a hill that was so steep it was about 30km/h or so. At that moment I had forgotten which brake was for the back tyre and which was for the front. However, I knew that if I had mistakenly pressed the brakes for the front tyre, it would have meant me falling down head first. That day I said "Blood of Jesus" like 120 times in 60 seconds. After that day, I parked my bike in the garage for like 4 days till I was sure I had recovered from my experience.
I learnt some new things from "re-cycling", those seemingly unnecessary moments change our lives and recycle our thought process. My arrogance and all knowing mental image was shredded in my Osuofia moments and this has reminded me to be humble and as usual to enjoy my Osuofia moments while I learn from them. Learn something new, ask questions, read the signs, bla bla bla. This just got boring.