Could be Worse! Could be Raining!
I cannot say for sure
when I experienced my first misadventure. I am talking about my first
misadventure out in the big world alone, without the help of my
parents. Surely I was a teenager.
I do remember going for
a bike ride with my best friend. In all of my stories I have changed
the names of the characters. I wouldn't want to embarrass my friends.
We will call her Kate. Kate lived in a big, modern house in an
urbanization in the country. Nice houses. I would be there a lot and
one particular day we decided to ride bikes.
Having no bike of my
own there, I used one of hers. Kate and I grew up near the farmlands
of Illinois, just outside of Chicago. We were definitely city girls.
If you know this area, you will know the land is flat, hence the term
the “Great Plains.”
I myself have never
understood what was so great about them. Here, there are no
mountains. And barely any hills, or any rise of the surface of any
sort. There was a mound, though, called Johnson's mound.
This is the setting of
this misadventure. We rode up the mound successfully, even though my
bike was a bit tattered and rusty. I do not recall that it had any
more than three gears. The chain was clunky and fussy.
Did I already mention
the bike was too big for me? This wouldn't be hard to imagine. After
growing to five feet tall in my junior year at high school, that
would be where I topped off.
This was the summer before my junior
year so I must have been in that range.
Photo Courtesy of Sarabbit
Anyway, the bike was
too big for me. On the way down the mound, though it was only a mound
the road was steep, I saw a big dirt patch spanning across the road
and hit it with great speed.
I should know how this
works, because I used to hit them all the time on my skateboard.
Nevertheless, I wasn't expecting to stop with such a sudden halt. But
that is what happened, and it launched me over the bike.
I would still have the
scar on my elbow if it hadn't been shredded off during another bike
incident some twenty years later on a mountain bike spill. Ooze and
blood dripped from my wound, but I could still move my elbow.