“OK, you can do this,” I said, trying to sound cheerful.
My mom sat straddling（跨） her brand-new bike, her new helmet falling forward over her eyes. She gripped the handlebars（把手） the way I had seen her grip the steering wheel in heavy traffic, and she looked kind of pale.
“I don’t know, Jake. There are too many people around. I don’t think I want to. . . .”
I didn’t understand why my mom seemed so scared. Riding a bike was no big deal. I had learned to ride four years ago, when I was only seven. Besides, I’d never known my mom to be afraid of anything before. The night I heard noises in the attic（阁楼） and thought that there were monsters up there, Mom just grabbed a flashlight and marched right in. She scared those squirrels half to death. And the day I hit my head falling out of a tree and was covered in blood, Mom just sat me down, washed me off, and told me not to climb so high. So what was all this about?
“Mom,” I said as patiently as I could, “you have to learn to ride a bike if you want to ride with me in the Bike-a-Thon, and it’s only two weeks away.”
“OK,” she said finally. “OK, I can do this—I think.”
“Of course you can,” I replied, and I reached up to adjust the chin strap（帽子的颚带） on her helmet（头盔）. “That’s better. Now you can see where you’re going.”
“I think I liked it better when I couldn’t.” She stared down the little hill I had decided to start her on.
“It’s not that steep, Mom. It’s easier to get your balance if you start off coasting. Just remember to keep your feet on the pedals, and start pedaling as soon as you get to the bottom of the hill.”
I took a couple of steps away from the bike. My mom took a deep breath and pushed down on the top pedal just the way I’d shown her. Slowly the bicycle rolled forward, picking up speed as it coasted down the hill. The front wheel began to wobble（摇晃，动摇）.
“Steer, Mom! Straighten it out!” I yelled. Mom didn’t seem to hear me. She and the bike turned left, went off the sidewalk, and rolled into a little green bush. Then slowly Mom and the bike fell over.
“Mom!” I shouted, running down the hill. “Are you all right?”
Several people came running toward us. I guess they had heard me yelling. My mom hadn’t made a sound.
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