Riding a Bike

(This is the story of the first time I learned to ride my bike. The older pictures are of my son. I do not have any of me...tear!)

"Look at me. I'm doing it." CRASH! That was me at 7 years old. I was a late bloomer compared to my son. He learned to ride his bike years before I did, and he was self-taught might I add.

It was the late 80s. My entire family was visiting my uncle's home. He was in the Navy, so he was could be in a different state at any given time. It just so happened that VA was the chosen location during the 4th of July weekend. There was a great amount of excitement in the air; made for a great backdrop with the celebration of independence in the wings.

I wanted in on all the action. Between jump rope, board games, freeze tag, and catching up with family I had this bright idea to get on a bike. I was a true amateur in every sense. I never practiced or attempted to ride without training wheels. I blame my courageous efforts on the atmosphere; family, good spirits, and a slight case of peer pressure.

Once I agreed to a verbal contract to learn to ride my bike, I was assisted by my uncle (I have 8, so I can't quite remember which one). He held tightly to the bike seat. I positioned my self evenly with one foot on the ground and the other on the pedal. Once a gained my balance, I begin to pick-up speed. With my uncle's steady hand and my newfound confidence, I zoomed down the sidewalk hitting every crack, bump, and dip you could imagine. There was just enough pressure to send me flying off my seat. Learning to ride a bike not only hurt physically, but it bruised my ego pretty badly as well.

Determination runs wild in my family. There was no way I was going to give-up that easily. I, or should I say we, kept at it. My uncle would not let me stop. We hit the reset button over and over again. Hold. Balance. Pedal. Release. Again. Hold. Balance. Pedal. Release. After tons of repetition I didn't even notice when my uncle finally let go. I had conquered the sidewalk, with all its dips and cracks, without falling. That is until I turned around to look. Just like that I had mastered the art of bike riding. Well, mastered is such a strong word, so we'll go with understood.

An hour or so later, a few knee and elbow scraps too, I emerged as a bike rider. No more training wheels. No more assistance from an adult. And no more fear of riding. I wanted to ride all day, steer with one hand, pop a wheelie. Okay, maybe not a wheelie, but I knew in order to achieve this goal I would have to know how to ride a bike, and I had already done so. Check...that's one off my list.

I often get upset because I cannot remember parts of my childhood. Certain memories are forever erased or have become less recognizable in my attempt to reminisce. But, this one memory of bike-riding sticks out so well. So vividly. So like yesterday. It's not that significant in the sense that everyone learns to ride a bike. I guess it may have something to do with the 4th of July holiday.

Yes. That's it! At the age of 7, I gained my independence when I learned to ride
my bike. Only now...I don't look back anymore.


This inspiration to write a story about the first time I learned to ride a bike came from 5 Minutes For Mom.

They are giving away 2 Strider Running Bikes. For contest details, please click HERE. You have to check out the Balance Bike. It is amazing how children so young are learning to balance themselves. In no time, they too will master the art of riding a bike.

I wanted to enter this contest for Mariah. She is always so upset to see the older children in the neighborhood ride their bikes. She cannot understand why they will not let her play. Maybe now she can get in on all the action.

Good Luck to everyone. I am hoping I am one of the lucky 2 to win.

Hurry, go enter now. Winner will be announced on the 5 Minutes for Mom site on July 21.

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