Do you remember the day when you learned how to ride a bike? I was only 7, but I have vivid memories of my grandfather teaching me how to ride. He had a big yard, and there was one place where a concrete block stood, and became my starting position. This was because I didn’t use training wheels, and I couldn’t touch the ground. The block became my perch where I mounted up.
The bike was a hand-me-down. The paint was red and chipped, but I loved it. I would climb on the bike and he would give me a push to get me going. There were definitely some good crashes, but I picked up the balance thing really well. I just couldn’t stop…literally. Being a crafty little guy, my solution was simple; I just rode in a circle around the yard for as long as I could, and then attempted different “landings”. I tried to ride by trees and grab branches, I tried to just jump off the bike, and I also tried to ride along the fence to stop myself with friction. One way or another, I would get the job done. Those are good memories.
From the first push off the concrete block with my grandfather, I’ve always loved cycling. It’s one of those things you can do in life where your stress can be put on a shelf and you can enjoy the hum of your tires on the road and feel the wind blowing through your helmet. I enjoy being in the saddle and riding the fantastic trails that are available throughout the metro area.
I had an accident several months ago, and really tore up my knee and I haven’t been able to be in the saddle for a while. I was getting really tired of the stationary recumbent bike that I have had to use for physical therapy.
Today, I was finally given the thumbs up by my surgeon to get back up on my bike and get to the outdoors! I was super excited and nervous at the same time. I didn’t know if my knee would hurt or if I would be comfortable on the bike. I remembered back to my childhood, where I used my determination to learn to ride. With today’s ride, I had to use some of that determination to get back into that saddle and push myself off that concrete block so that I could get some mileage out of my body. The ride was fantastic. While it took a little longer than normal, I busted out 24 miles yesterday. Not bad for not being on my bike since September!
Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to think back to the time you learned how to ride a bike. Then get on your bike and ride with that same excitement that you had when you rode solo for the first time.