During the first part of my early childhood, I lived on a dead-end street. It really was a dead-end in the truest sense of the word. Our house was the last one, and if you went any farther, you would find yourself going down an embankment and into a cemetery. It was in this space between the driveway and the first tombstone that I learned to ride a bike.
My father never had much patience. His method of teaching a young child to ride a bike was quite simple: Load child on bike, back bike up as if you were pulling back a slingshot, then propel bike as fast as you could down the driveway, hoping said child would learn before dropping off into the cemetery. After several near-fatal crashes, I got the hang of riding, and ride I did. I discovered Dad’s training method worked quite well.
Our family later moved out into the country. In front of our house was a long road, perfect for young boys on their bicycles. There were two things I had to overcome on that country road. The first was a dog that would chase me for about one city block. It wasn’t a little dog but a German shepherd that was rumored to be possessed by an evil spirit. It would lie in wait as I approached the house where it