At the age of five, we went to live in Ireland because my father was going to finish his post graduate studies there.
For the first three or four years we stayed in Dublin. I can't quite remember all the details but what I can remember is that we lived on an estate where there was a lot of children, and that I used to go out everyday playing with them.
Some of those children had bicycles to ride. I would watch them ride the bikes, speeding, swerving and crashing into each other, fall off and getting up, laughing and giggling as they do. Sometimes I would get really angry watching them because I didn't have a bike.
I would go home to my mother crying and begging her to buy me a bicycle. But every time she would say that I was still too young. As the days went by my mother became very annoyed by my moaning, crying and complaining everyday. So my parents decided to buy me a bicycle. We went to the shop and I chose a very big bike, it was as I remember, as big as me, but I was imitating the other children and watched how they showed off with their big bikes and so I wanted the biggest one so that I could do the same. At that moment it didn't matter or come to my mind how I was going to ride it or even get on it. All I wanted was a big bike so that I could show off in front of my friends.
After a long argument with my parents showing me nice little bikes and me insisting on a big one, we came to an agreement on a blue BMX. It was an average sized bike, a compromise between the one I wanted and the little ones. It had two very strong brakes and a very nice seat and it didn't have any stabilizers!!!
We took it home and I showed it to all my friends with my head in the sky, I was the happiest kid ever that day. From that day forward the moaning and crying about buying the bike stopped, but a new argument had started.
When my parents bought the bike they thought that would be the end of it. They didn't realize that it was just the beginning. They didn't think that teaching me how to ride a bike was harder than anything in the whole wide world. The day we bought the bike I didn't ride it. It was all spent in showing it to all the children and after that I had to go to bed.
The next day I was up early, without any breakfast or washing my face, grabbed the bike and was out for a spin not realizing or even thinking that riding a bike would be a difficult task. I thought that like the other children, you get on and you get off. But it wasn't like that, when I got on before I even started to pedal, I fell off. That was the first scratch of many. I went in to my mother, crying and shouting. At first she was frightened and then she started to laugh at me. From that day the learning process started and my parents started taking me to the park, teaching me how to ride. Although I had many crashes and falls, crashing into walls and trees and falling left and right, in the end I got the hang of it and became a great rider, beating all the children and even riding without hands.
Today I have won over two hundred trophies, the first was in the Tour de France and three times again after and now going for the fourth.