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November 5, Sunday. Although there is a cold wind blowing through, it is a pleasant sunny autumn day. My hands become cold, so I put both of my hands into my pocket.
「Why are you already here this early…」
「I don’t know how much time I will need to learn it after all.」
Oh? It’s quite unusual for Kouhai-chan to make a pessimistic statement.
Since it is Kouhai-chan, I thought she would say something like “I will master this in an instant!”, or something like that.
Right. Sometime ago (around a month ago?), when I found out that Kouhai-chan couldn’t ride a bicycle, I told her that I would accompany her practice riding a bicycle for some reason.
Since then, we had been estimating when would it become sunny, and finally this sunny day came. The typhoon already went home. Rather, don’t appear at all. But if the typhoon from the past, present, and future disappeared… will Japan be short of water? Anyway, if it is going to come, please do so on weekdays.
That’s why I am currently riding my bicycle to a nearby park, to meet her. I am wondering if there’s a need for me to bring my bicycle, but if she needs to look at an example, I can do nothing but to obey her.
Kouhai-chan is wearing a helmet and work gloves, fully defensed (of course there should be no bare feet, she is wearing jeans). I can’t detest how even her clumsy appearance looks cute in my eyes.
「I borrowed this from my brother, since he hasn’t used it recently.」
If I’m not wrong, he was enrolled at a local university, right? I wonder if he will return home at the end of the year.
I look at the granny bike next to the grinning Kouhai-chan. It’s your usual granny bike, with a few extra gears attached.
The tires look strange. I try pushing it.
It’s dented, how amusing.
「Yosh. First, let’s put some air in, okay?」
If she practise with this kind of squeaky bicycle, it will be hard for her to ride it.
＃ ＃ ＃
I ran back to my house and took my air pump.
While pushing the pump laboriously, I asked.
「By the way, is that kind of helmet alright for you?」
Rather than for riding a bicycle, it looks more like what they wear at a construction site. Or even for disaster prevention.
「What’s with that confidence?」
「The jeans I am currently wearing are thick. Do you want to try touching it, senpai?」
She lifts up the fabric around her thighs and appeal it to me.
「And also, if I’m going to fall, senpai will protect me, right?」
I can’t say anything anymore after looking at her smile when she said that kind of thing.
＊ ＊ ＊
Senpai inflated the tire for me, and my bicycle ride practise finally began.
When I was little, I somehow missed the timing to practise riding a bicycle, and without having the need to learn it, time passed. Before I knew it, I couldn’t ride it even when I am already a high school student.
If this keeps going on, senpai will definitely make fun of me… and with that kind of good reason, he promised that he would teach me. But now that I think about this, he might even use this practise meeting itself to tease me. I have to think about that possibility after this.
This is scary after all. Borrowing senpai’s word, this is because it’s「unknown」for me.
There are a lot of people who usually ride a bicycle, but I heard some stories where they fell down as they practise when they were still small.
「Please be gentle, senpai?」
When I request so, senpai’s expression suddenly turned serious, and said,
「That way of speaking, stop it. It makes people misunderstand.」
…After a few seconds, I understand what he meant.
「Please stop sexually harassing me.」
「Aren’t you the one who said it yourself!」
My tension from before disappeared for some reason, and it felt mortifying.
＃ ＃ ＃
「Then, as a start, look.」
Remembering the contents of a homepage I read yesterday night, I straddled my bicycle.
Staying like that, I kicked the ground, keeping my legs extended and not even riding the pedal, and moved forward. The speed gradually dropped as my right foot touched the ground. I changed my direction and repeated it once again, until I was next beside Kouhai-chan.
「Try doing it like this.」
Ah, I forgot to explain it to her.
I explained what she had to do, what she needed to be careful about, and the goals of this exercise.
After I finished explaining, Kouhai-chan nodded, and sat on her bicycle.
She tried putting her buttocks on the saddle while standing on her tiptoes, her eyes teary.
If a bicycle beginner does that kind of thing, of course they will lose their balance.
Well, she is going to fall. I immediately stop her from falling, holding her side.
「Your saddle is too high.」
Still holding her soft body in my arms, I said what I happened to realize that moment.
「Please say that from the beginning…」
Kouhai-chan whose face had turned red said so while sounding tired even though we haven’t started practicing yet.
＊ ＊ ＊
Senpai immediately caught me, stopping me from falling. I don’t know if I should feel happy or sad.
I lowered my saddle and challenged it again.
I held the handle, put my hands on the brake, and ready myself. I proceed to kick the ground with my foot. It’s scary doing it so powerfully.
I moved forward just a little, around 30 cm until my feet touched the ground again.
I felt motivated with senpai’s words, and I tried it once again.
This time, I advanced around 50cm forward.
Huh? This is unexpectedly easier than what I thought.
I kicked the ground more strongly than before. I want to reach around 3m now.
If I keep my legs open, I can’t concentrate. I arrange them in the middle of the bike.
Then, a pain hit me from behind my calf.
Those words leaked out of my mouth as I spread my legs again, my sports shoes touched the sand in the park. The bicycle finally stopped.
Anyway, what happened just now?
When I look at my right foot that felt that painful sensation, I realized how my right pedal changed it’s position.
Senpai laughed loudly. What? Are other people’s misfortunes that interesting? I unconsciously let out a cold voice.
「Sorry, sorry. The pedal would turn on its own. Yup. It will certainly shock you at the beginning.」
「Doesn’t this hurt?」
「But you didn’t fall down, right? By the way, when you are in an emergency like that, you can stop the bicycle faster by using the brake.」
「Ah, I see…」
I completely forgot it existed. Brake is used for that kind of situation, huh.
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After that, I told her about how to steer the wheel (it’s just tilting the bicycle to the right and left, though), and return the saddle height.
When I told her to spin the pedal and move forward, Kouhai-chan mastered it in no time. Although it still looked unsteady, she could put her feet on the ground before she fell.
「It’s thanks to my talent, huh!」
「Hey now, if you want to flatter something, you should say that for my teaching, right…」
「Ah, then it’s thanks to senpai’s teaching.」
「You sound too monotone…」
While cracking jokes towards each other, we sat on a park bench to take a break.
We also bought hot drinks from the vending machine nearby. My body that was exposed to the cold wintry wind started to warm up a little.
「By the way, here is my『today’s question』」
「It’s from senpai today, eh.」
「Why did you want to ride a bicycle? If you had no reason to ride it since you were little, then there is no reason to learn it now right?」
「Oh, did you have to ask that?」
「Yeah, I have to.」
Kouhai-chan looked a little bit bashful.
＊ ＊ ＊
「I thought it would make it easier to go to senpai’s house.」
I didn’t think about this three weeks ago, but now, this is my main motivation. Senpai’s house is far if I go by walking. It is on the other side of the station after all.
…This is somewhat embarrassing to say, though.
Senpai turned to another side.
「Me too, thank you very much for accompanying my practise, senpai.」
「Just don’t fall on the road, okay? The asphalt hurts, you know?」
「Senpai, here is my『today’s question.』」
As I listened to senpai’s words, I realized how it sounded strange. I unconsciously asked about it.
「Senpai, did you ever fall from your bicycle?」
「Please tell me in detail.」
Senpai made an unpleasant face so openly. There must be something about this.
「Come on. This is my『today’s question』after all.」
「I got it… Don’t laugh, okay?」
「I’ll definitely laugh.」
「Oi. Well, fine. It’s when I was still in junior high. I carried my bicycle everyday, so I got carried away.」
Here it is.
「Oi, why are you laughing?」
「Senpai is making a boring gag after all.」
He finally understood.
「Ah, that’s not it. I was riding my bicycle while releasing both of my hands from the handlebars. It also happened at mid autumn.」
「Releasing both hands, huh?」
「By the way, releasing one hand is pretty easy to do.」
＃ ＃ ＃
「Then, I fell just like that. It was painful.」
It wasn’t as if my skin got cut or something since I was wearing long trousers, but it hurt.
The wound was throbbing painfully.
「Hee. Senpai also did that kind of thing, huh.」
It’s somewhat unexpected, or so Kouhai-chan said. I drank my corn potage as I listened to her.
「I am a boy after all.」
I stared at the can, muttering it in a volume that Kouhai-chan next to me wouldn’t be able to hear.
The things I knew about my senpai㊿
It seemed like senpai had fallen from his bike after releasing both of his hands from the handlebars.