A man I knew proposed one evening we should go for a long bicycle ride together on the following day, and I agreed. I got up early, for me; I made an effort, and was pleased with myself. He came half an hour late; I was waiting for him in the garden. It was a lovely day. He said, “That’s a good-looking machine of yours. How does it run?”
The story opens with the narrator introducing the second, and probably the central, character of the story.
The narrator and the man decide to go on a bicycle ride

The narrator introduces the character as an acquaintance rather than as his friend. He introduces him as "a man I knew" instead of "a friend of mine", or as "one of my friends". This is crucial because it establishes the relationship between the narrator and the man.

One evening, the narrator and the man had made plans. The decision was to go on a bicycle ride the next day. The narrator made an effort to get ready on time. He woke up early, got ready, and waited for the man with his bicycle in his garden. However, the man came half an hour late.
Soon after reaching the narrator's place, the man spoke to the narrator about the bicycle. He said that the bicycle looked great. He asked the narrator how it runs.
Bicycle ride
Meanings of difficult words from the paragraphs:
Sl. No.
ProposePut forward a plan or suggestion for consideration by others
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. A Bicycle in Good Repair (pp. 126-132). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.