First Ride

After passing the 9 hole golf test, I think my knee is ready for a real bike ride. I know, that was a whole lot of bellering and wailing for a three week injury. I didn’t necessarily shoot very well yesterday, but then, I’m not much of a golfer on the best of days.

Unlike the child in this photo I will not have the benefit of my racially diverse parents to cheer me on. Don’t worry, they’re actors, and that kid can probably ride just fine.

Do you remember learning to ride a bike, or has it been too long?

I often credit my Schwinn Mag Scrambler as my first bike, but I know there was a purple bike of unknown make and model before that.
Some of you out there have tiny little people, often called babies, and others are expecting the same in the near future. Have you thought about how you are going to teach them to ride?

Will you promise not to let go and then let go anyway?

I think that ruthless tactic works best, but there are definite consequences to the long-term relationship.


10 Responses to First Ride

  1. I also had a sweet ride with a banana seat. The front wheel was smaller than the back and it had these huge monkey bars like you might find on a Harley. That bike belongs in the Smithsonian right next to the Fonz’s jacket and Archie Bunker’s chair.

    As for wee Daniel, I plan on buying a backseat for my old school Rock Hopper this weekend. That way we can cruise suburban Detroit together. I am stoked!

  2. My Dad brought home a junker from a police auction when I was almost 4 and still cruising on the plastic green machiine. He put me on the saddle and pushed me off. No training wheels. No helmet. Just some basic directions on how to go and how to stop. That was the last time my Mom saw me during daylight hours.

    Our wee one has the sweetest rig possible: It mounts on the top tube in front of you so the tot can experience the ride head-on insted of staring at my back. For a video check out Look for “Lula’s First Ride”. My hope is the experience will be so exciting she’ll be screaming for her own ride. So far she loves it.

    As for getting her to stay upright on her own bike I have to agree with Juancho- the John Wayne approach (with padding)- stand her up, push her off, let her go, and run like hell beside her so she can stop safely. Oh yeah, helmets are mandatory in my house.

  3. Wow! I had a yellow banana seat too. It was a Huffy. I like to think of it as my first and only fixie.

    Good luck on the ride today. Hope all goes well, racially diverse cheerleaders aside.

  4. I also had the banana seat with huge monkey bars. It had training wheels but that didn’t stop me from hitting a drainage ditch straight on and flying high over the handle bars. I’m 35 and I still have a scar under my lower lip from that accident. The sad thing is that I would give almost anything to have another day like that day in 1978. The scar is both my souvenir and medal.

  5. I had a sting ray knock off. My brother gave me the deep end treatment and I rode for about a mile or so before he realized stopping was not an option. When he finally caught me and I was pretty happy to get off.
    I pushed both my boys into the grass first and then they rode on their own. I pushed my oldest too hard and he hates bikes (my fault) my youngest got clipless pedals this year and he rode most of the balance beam stuff at Tom Brown…ya I’m Braggin!

  6. I was about 4 when Dad came home with a knobby tire sticking over the tailgate of his truck. I ran out yelling “Dad, you bought a motorcycle!”. He looks down and says “No, kid, but how about a bike that looks like a motorcycle?” I was so stoked, and I didn’t even know what stoked was back then. I promptly got on it and chased my brother into the street. He tripped and fell, and I ran over him lengthwise…crotch to shoulder. My Mom still yells at me for that and I’m 36 now! As for banana seats, am I the only one who had a metal flake red one? That pimp ride came several years after the brother crunching incident.

  7. I had a red hand painted garage sale special with a red sparkly banana seat and ape hangers. I remember us neighborhood kids getting bullied by a big dumb kid, and finally while we were getting harassed by him while riding around on that bike, I stuck a stick into his front wheel, causing him to faceplant on the pavement. He left us alone after that.