Nonfiction | April 16, 2015

I just wanted to stare at it for a while, to sit on it and make engine noises. I was scared of it, though I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. The bike was too heavy for my scrawny ten-year-old body. My old Bell helmet rattling on my head, the motor running, the whole bike vibrating beneath me, I asked only to hang on and not tip it over as my family looked on. I rode in tentative circles, barely cracking the throttle. Round and round I rode in first gear, my father jogging beside me, shouting directions. Then, gear shifts. Then farther up the street, until my father was on his Harley, riding next to me, goading me past our stop sign and onto the open road, down to the Pic-Quick for a candy bar. I was soon bopping along behind my father all over town, unlicensed, free.

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