Chapter 21 - Lose the Pedals

There, all done.
Wow, you actually took the pedals off...
Oh. Yeah, I saw them doing this in a class for people who can't ride bicycles a while back when I was cycling around the palace. I realized it makes learning so much easier.
I see...
Sayuki-kun, just watch what I'm about to do, okay?
Y- Yes, please demonstrate!!
So you straddle it like this, and then push off from the ground with your feet... moving yourself forward. If anything goes wrong, you can immediately put your feet back down.
I get it... So this way you learn how to keep your balance before anything else.
This should be way less scary than having to jump right into pedaling with someone holding you up from behind.
P- Perhaps... Haah, haah...
Sayuki-san, your voice is cracking... You really are scared, aren't you?
N- Not at all... I'm doing this so that we may be able to ride bicycles together! I will persevere!
Sayuki-san...♡
Rikka-san...♡
Hehehe, Rikka and Sayuki-san are in their own little world...
*munch-munch* ...These macarons aren't half bad.
And leave it to you to wreck it, Reo... Oh well, you're still cute in your own little way. Here, you've got macaron crumbs around your mouth.
Hnnh, that tickles, Mai.
Hold still or I can't get them off.
Aren't Reo-sama and Mai-sama adorable to watch, Miya?
Haah, haah...
H- Hey, Miya... Why do your eyes look all bloodshot?
Haah, hah, hah, haah... Risa!!
Why are you shouting all of a sudden?!
Isn't this the part where we make a big show of how chummy we are like everyone eltze?!
Geeze, you're even tripping over your own words?
Hmmm, if that's the case, then I'm the only one without a partner. My beloved Yuuno isn't here...
Well, maybe I'll just settle for being a spectator today. Okay, Risa-kun, Miya-kun, show me what you've got.
Thank you very much♡ Come now Risa, you heard the woman♡♡
I- I will not! Besides, the whole reason we're here is for Sayuki-san to practice, right?!
Oh... You're quite right, please forgive me. I just couldn't help but be drawn in by Rikka-san's lovely eyes.
Hngh... Yes, well played, Sayuki-san.
Well then, shall I begin?
Oh, sure. Just be careful, and be sure to wear these.
A helmet, and... What might these be?
Those are knee and elbow pads. That way you won't get hurt, even if you fall.
You won't bruise so easily hitting the ground with these on, so you can relax.
Your concern is greatly appreciated.
All right, let me put them on for you.
Certainly.
Hehehe, Rikka really is Sayuki-san's knight in shining armor.
Even I would have...
Hm?
I would be happy to put your racing shorts on for you next time♡
...I'm fine, thanks.
Then this part goes like this... And that's that. Now you're ready, Sayuki-san.
Looks like you're all set. Good luck, Sayuki-san.
Th- Thank you... Well, here I go...
.........
A- Aieeee!!
Ahh, Sayuki-san!
You can put your feet down at any time, so don't be afraid.
R- Right... Haah, haah.
Try to start by just barely lifting your feet up. Take your time and don't rush.
Haah, haah... Don't rush... Okay...
Ahhh, I can't watch~
Don't rush, don't rush... Eeee!!
*crash!*
That was an awesome wipeout.
S- Sayuki-san, are you all right?!
...Yes, I'm fine. It didn't hurt one bit thanks to these elbow and knee pads.
Phew, thank goodness~ Maybe we should stop for a minute...
Most certainly not! This is hardly anything to get discouraged over.
There you go, that's the spirit!
Just focus on moving forward.
Yes... Thank you, everyone.
.........
...Haah, haah, haah...
You're doing great, Sayuki-san. You've really gotten the hang of this.
You're looking considerably more steady compared to when you first started.
You've almost got it. Hang in there, Sayuki-san.
Right... I believe I've figured out the trick to it... I'm going to attempt it once more, just to be certain...
Hey... Sayuki-san, that's awesome! You're keeping your balance!
Well done, bravo♪ It looks like you've figured out how to maintain your balance.
Yes, thanks to you.
Well, what do you say we try it with the pedals on now?
Please, by all means.
*ka-chak*...*ka-chak*
This is it. Give it a try, and don't forget how it felt earlier.
O- Okay... Here I go... Wa- Wahah!!
Sayuki-san, watch out!
*crash!*
Waaaah~
You're not hurt, are you?
No, I'm all right... Allow me to try once more.
Sayuki-kun, try to loosen up a little. Don't look down, look forward.
O- Okay...
Riding a bicycle is all about muscle memory, so try not to become distracted by overthinking things.
Thank you... Miya-sama...
You gave her advice, Miya... That was really nice of you.
I- It wasn't that nice...
Don't think too much, loosen up... Here I go... Ahh!
*crash!*
That was so close! You almost did it!
You've already got your balance down, so if you can just get over your fear when you're pedaling... I know you can do it.
Don't be afraid... Don't be afraid... One more time...
.........Ah, Sayuki-san!
You're doing it, you're pedaling!
You did it, Sayuki-san!
.........
Haah, haah, haah... I- I did it! I rode a bicycle!
Way to go, Sayuki-san!
Waah... Rikka-san, I did it...
Hehehe, that's a pretty touching embrace, you guys.
It was pretty moving for me just seeing it... Don't you think so, Reo?
Y- Yeah... I guess it was pretty great or whatever.
Ahh, that's wonderful. I really am happy♪
...Indeed.
Congratulations, Sayuki-san.
Great job.
Th- Thank you, all of you... *sniff* Nnnh...

To be continued... Next time♪

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