The Ride of Your Life

Recently, I decided to purchase a bike. With two wheels. And no motor!
Perhaps this was prompted by my decision to purchase a bike for my grand daughter who was turning three. As with my children, I wanted her to be exposed to a bike early on.

My oldest daughter learned at five years old. She learned quickly. I can still see her on that pink banana seat Huffy riding around and around on the back patio and front driveway.

My son's bike arrived when he was five. However, he decided he didn't care if he ever learned to ride. This was after a few failed attempts with his dad as a teacher. Case and point: Not everyone was created to be an instructor.

Not willing to accept this faulty excuse, I quietly responded, "Well, here's the deal, Son, you are going to learn. Then if you choose to never ride again, that's your choice." What else are parents for than to see the bigger picture?

Dragging his feet, that very day we went to the backyard. Yes, yard, with all of it's lumps and bumps.

  • The first thing I did was remove the training wheels. Those are just hindrances, in my opinion.

  • The next step: A few runs with me along side of him, holding him up as we dashed across the yard.

  • Followed by starting him off with me by his side and then letting him go on his own. Yes, he tumbled and fell. See, cushy grass does come in handy.

  • He was not happy. That's OK. I can deal with unhappiness. So without much choice, he knew this parent was not going to let him give up.

  • Back to the track, to his dismay. Little did he know the best was just minutes away from his reach.

  • An hour or so later, he was experiencing what it felt like to balance himself without any crutch on his new mode of transportation. Let freedom ring!

  • From that day forward, he recounted his earlier decision: He updated to riding a bike the rest of his life.

The really neat thing is that not only did he learn to ride, but the greater lesson was about life: Never give up on something you think you can't do. I can't tell you the times when he's come up against a challenge bigger than life, and all I've had to do is say, "Remember the bike." With that simple phrase, he knew the bumps and bruises would only prove to soon be badges of success.

But what determined me with such passion for my children? For one, I never was given the opportunity to learn to ride a bike. My parents didn't teach me. Not that they were being neglectful. I'm not certain about my dad, but I know my mom never learned how to ride a bike. And my older brothers thought I was too delicate to be involved in such activities.

So at the ripe age of almost 12, I borrowed a neighbor's bike and set out to teach myself in the front yard. Looking back, picking the back yard might have been a better choice. I'm certain my neighbors were provided free entertainment, at my own expense. I never knew it, but then I wouldn't have cared. My passion to become one with the bike took over any sense of pride.

NEXT POST: What bike did I choose? What alarming news I discovered once I purchased the bike.

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