I can't help but laugh whenever the subject of 'when I know how to ride a bicycle' is brought by my children.
Yes, I only knew how to ride a bicycle when I was twelve! Children nowadays are already experts when they are barely six!
I was scared of falling down. Well, may be that was a reason I could come up with. But was it really? Actually the most important reason was there was no bicycle around for me to play with.
The triggering factors that finally made me learn how to ride a bicycle included: feeling belittled when the class teacher always make joke of me arriving in class 15-30 minutes late, great embarassment when I realized that all my girl cousins already knew how to ride bicycle and that dream, the dream that I was happily riding a bicycle!
When we first moved to Kg Bukit Kuang, I went to Sekolah Kebangsaan Chukai for grade 4.
Then when I was in grade 5, like others, I went to SK Pusat. The distance from home to school was 6 miles. I went to school by the late Pok Man's trishaw. There were at least four of us on the trishaw and Pok Man had to really struggle pedalling the thing to reach school on time. Most of the times he failed.
Recently I met Was Sepiah, a fellow rider and a friend on the trishaw. She was a year junior but she remembered well our ride to school.
When I was in grade six I went to school by bus. For that I had to walk halfway and then took the bus.
Halfway through the year I realized that I just had to ride a bicycle. There was tuition class after school. Finally, after that dream, with the help of Zainun and arwah Jamilah, there I was learning how to ride a bicycle.
After a day, I knew how to ride the thing. And so began my cycling to school and to anywhere.
I had to cover a distance of more than 12 miles everyday, without any complaint whatsoever. Mind you those days the road surface was not as smooth as nowadays and there was not many vehicles, saved for timber trucks on the road.