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After what has seemed like an eternity, the grey sky has finally cleared and transformed itself into a most brilliant blue, showing the welcoming signs of spring. The overnight rain has left its fresh scent. The trees seem to breathe fresh green air as I pedal past them. The closer I get to the bike track the bigger my smile becomes and I begin to feel lighthearted. I am on my way to my most favourite place on earth, the BMX bike track.
I walk my bike across the last busy road to the track hidden amongst a forest. I roll through the gates of the track and feel a great weight lift from me. I am now in a hidden, secret place where there are no rules.
There is no sound except for the birds. The outside world longer exists. I could feel myself slipping away into this sanctuary.
Filtered sunlight illuminates the many colours of the dirt track. The smooth trunks of the gum trees stand tall amongst the green leaves silhouetted by the blue sky. The shades of orange clay darken from red to brown where the water has drained into a reflective puddle.
I come to a stop in the very centre of the bike track and feel free for the first time in weeks. To my surprise I am the only person here. This world is mine for the taking.
On the lunar like surface surrounding me are deep holes and tall piles of carefully hand sculptured dirt, towering over me, weaving through the trees, sweeping left and right.
I shoot down the first runway and sail over the first few jumps keeping low to maintain my speed. I hit a banked turn and carve around it, all the time gaining speed. Cranking up the straight, my legs begin aching. Behind me all I leave is an airborne trail of dust, which eventually settles back on the ground from where it was disturbed. I shoot into the last banked turn whipping around it at my fastest pace. Tree trunks whiz by as I quickly pass them. Shadows from the spreading gum trees wash over me. Between the shadows are thin breaks of sunlight. These hit me like the orange overhead lights of a car tunnel. The last section of the track is fast approaching and from the blur of speed in my eyes I make out the last, two, big jumps. The ground underneath my tires begins to harden, causing my tires to buzz the way they would on tarmac. I hit the first steep upramp and my tires give a final zzzzzzzzup, throwing me into the air. For the first time I become airborne, the world slowing almost to an entire stop. The feeling is amazing! I have become invincible. Everything becomes clear and any problems or fears vanish from my mind. I am set free. For a split second I reach the peak of my height and my entire body and bike became weightless. I lose this feeling on the descent and spot the landing ramp. I land on it very smoothly and gain even more speed as I shoot down it. Suddenly I am thrown back into action; the world becomes a blur and my tires buzz with the speed. Between the two jumps a slow curve has been cut into the ground so the first landing ramp slowly melds into the second launch ramp. In this middle section I lose my stomach just like I would on the first drop of a roller coaster. I hit the second upramp and once again I am thrown into the air.
Something is terribly wrong! My whole body has clenched up and my brain realizes that I have gained too much speed on the first jump. I am going too high and too long. This time the world doesn’t slow down at all. I am passing over the second landing ramp as I am still gaining height. I squeeze the handle bars so tight! I begin to fall from the sky like a brick. I feel panic. I hit the ground still grasping my bike, but the force of the drop blows my feet off the pedals and hands off the handle bars. I crush into the bike as we slam into the ground. My head hits the ground so hard the force cracks my helmet.
I lie there twisted in my bike unable to move for about five minutes. My entire body is numb but now the pain has slowly started to seep back. Colours merge then blur. My world has turned upside down. I slowly pull myself up and see blood slowly trickling down my leg from a deep cut on the side of my thigh. My hands won’t stop shaking because adrenalin is pumping through my veins at an incredible rate. My head throbs with every heartbeat and the bright light feels like needles in my eyes.
I slowly ride home and creep inside making sure not to let my parents see me in such a state. I clean the cuts and bandage them up. I limp to my room and collapse on the bed in a hurt but satisfied heap. Almost immediately I fall sleep, only to dream of my dream world at the hidden bike track and of escaping reality another day.
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