Wednesday 20 January 2021

Going downhill on a bicycle


Going downhill on a bicycle 


 Dart: Act of running rapidly

 Poised: Still

 Swift: happening rapidly

 Slacken: Reduce in speed

 Steel shod: Sole of shoes made of steel

 Vale: valley

Objective Type Questions

 Who wrote the poem “Going Downhill on a bicycle?

 Ans. H.C. Beeching.

 How did poet feel while going downhill on a bicycle?

 Ans. He was flying like a bird.

 What happened when the poet reached near the foot of the hill?

 Ans. The speed of cycle slackened.

 What is the message given in the poem?

 Ans. If we want to enjoy the fruits of success then we have to work hard.

Summary of the poem

The poet talks about how he waits at the top of the hill in anticipation of an exhilarating ride and then starts rolling down slowly. As the bicycle picks up speed and the wind rushes by, he feels like he is flying and compares his joy to the freedom of a bird in flight. This ride downhill aids him in understanding the sense of independence that flying provides. But as the joyride comes to an end he realizes that all hills end in a valley, but if one has the determination to climb a long hill again, he will be rewarded with a joyous flight. The poet mentions how he lifts his feet from the pedals and keeps his hands still so that he would not lose his balance and fall off the bicycle, while it is dashing down the hill.


Central idea of the poem

The poem “GOING DOWNHILL ON A BICYCLE” brings out the value of hard work. The fruits of success can be tasted only after hard labour. We can enjoy the pleasure of down hill if we have worked hard to go up hill. While enjoying the fruits of hard labour we must be watchful.




With lifted feet, hands still,

I am poised, and down the hill

Dart with heedful mind;

The air goes by in a wind

REFERENCE TO THE CONTEXT These lines have been taken from the poem “Going Downhill On A Bicycle” written by H.C. Beeching. In these lines the poet recalls his childhood experience.

EXPLANATION One day the poet was coming down from a hill on the bicycle. He raised his feet from the pedals and his hands were resting on the handle bars. The poet was not using any force while coming down. The poet was balancing himself on the cycle. His mind was quiet watchful. In fact the poet wants to say that we should be attentive when we are enjoying the fruits of success.


Swifter and yet more swift,

Till the heart with a mighty lift

Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:

“o bird, see, see bird, I fly

EXPLANATION When the poet was coming down from the hill. He had not to pedal his cycle. It became more and more swift. He became overjoyed. His lungs were filled with laughter. He was crying with joy. The poet was telling the bird that he could also fly like it.


“Is this, is this your joy?

O bird, then i thought a boy,

For a golden moment share,

Your feathery life in the air

EXPLANATION When the poet was coming down from the hill on the bicycle, he felt that he was flying like a bird in the air. Then he said that this is the joy that birds experience in the air. The poet was also enjoying that golden moment of bliss. He shared a bird’s feathery life in the air.


Say heart is there aught like this

In a world that is full of bliss?

Tis more than skating bound

Steel shod to the level ground

EXPLANATION The thrill of speed filled the poet’s heart with extreme joy. He asks his heart if there is anything in the world like such bliss. The poet says that going downhill on the cycle is more exciting than skating. In skating our shoes remain tied to the ground with shoes of steel.


Speed slackens now, I float

Awhile in my airy boat;

Till when the wheels scarce crawl,

My feet to the treadles fall

EXPLANATION Once the poet went downhill on a cycle. He had not to pedal at all. He was feeling like a bird but now the poet reached the foot of the hill. The speed of his cycle slowed down. He had to bring his feet to the pedals again. He had to exert himself. Few minutes before the poet was feeling that he was floating in the air boat. In this passage, the poet wants to say that after some time we have to refresh our efforts.


Alas! That the longest hill

Must end in a vale; but still

Who climbs with toil, wheresoe’er

Shall find wings waiting there

EXPLANATION This passage contains a deep message. The poet went downhill on a bicycle. He was very excited and overjoyed. He was flying like a bird. When he reached the foot of the hill, he became sad as his airy flight came to an end. Now the poet learnt a lesson. He felt that even the longest hill comes to end in a valley. We can enjoy the bliss of downhill if we have worked hard to go uphill. The fruits of success can be enjoyed by those who have toiled hard in life.