Essays/opinion

The dude rides

Zenon was just 3-years-old when he asked his mommy and daddy to take the training wheels off his little green bicycle. Everyone said ‘no,’ at first but Zen insisted he was ready and stomped his feet until they relented.

Zenon’s daddy grabbed some tools from the garage and got to work on the bike. It stood by their mailbox and the big tree they carved memories into. Zen’s mommy stayed inside, awaiting the scraped knees and bloody elbows she thought would burst through the door at any minute. “You got this, dude,” she told him earlier and gave him a high-five.

Zen was wearing his helmet and tapped his foot impatiently as his dad got to work with the wrench. He loosened one bolt on the back tire and one training wheel slid off.

“Almost there,” Zenon’s dad said.

Then Zenon’s dad took off the other training wheel and grabbed them both, along with the wrench and walked toward the garage to put them away.

“Now, hold on a minute and we’ll get started, real slow. You have to remember not to look down,” Zenon’s dad said.

After he put the items in the garage, Zenon’s dad turned around and walked back to the mailbox. Zenon was gone, though, and so was his green bike. His dad looked left and saw nothing. He looked right and Zen wasn’t there either.

“Zen,” his dad yelled. “Where’d you go?”

Then Zenon’s daddy heard him yelling out in the distance.

“Woo Hoo.”

Zenon appeared from around a bend, riding his bicycle without the training wheels as fast as he could, his little legs turning the crank quickly, over and over. He passed by his dad and raised his thumb, then he stood up on the bike, and did some tricks.

“Wow,” Zenon’s daddy said. “You already know how to ride.”

Everyone came out to see him and Zenon didn’t disappoint. He jumped off curbs and did wheelies and wore out the tires on his green bicycle with his special move, the skid out. Everywhere he went, people marveled at Zenon’s cycling skills and as he grew older, he graduated to bigger bicycles and eventually motorcycles.

Zenon’s mommy did have to patch up wounds every now and then and give him some band-aids, but not that first time, the day his daddy took his training wheels off.

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