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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    380

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    I don't actually remember learning, but this is what I do remember:

    My mom took me to a thrift store when I was 5 and bought a bike with training wheels which I asked my dad to take off. he said no. I begged for days. He told me he would not remove my training wheels off until I stopped sucking my thumb. So I just road other kids bikes. One day my mom looks out the window and my bike was on the sidewalk - and then she sees me ripping down the hill on somebody else's bike without training wheels. She told my dad when he got home that he had to take my training wheels off. For my 6th birthday i got a turquoise bike with a pink and turquoise banana seat.
    Brina

    "Truth goes through three stages: first it is ridiculed; then violently opposed; finally, itís accepted as being self-evident." Schopenhauer

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by Brina
    I don't actually remember learning, but this is what I do remember:

    My mom took me to a thrift store when I was 5 and bought a bike with training wheels which I asked my dad to take off. he said no. I begged for days. He told me he would not remove my training wheels off until I stopped sucking my thumb. So I just road other kids bikes. One day my mom looks out the window and my bike was on the sidewalk - and then she sees me ripping down the hill on somebody else's bike without training wheels. She told my dad when he got home that he had to take my training wheels off. For my 6th birthday i got a turquoise bike with a pink and turquoise banana seat.
    GOOD FOR YOUR MOM!!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    24
    I think I borrowed my neighbors' bike. We had a yard that had a small slope/hill that was by our driveway. I would get on her bike and roll down that hill and when I would get to the end of my neighbors' yard where their hill was much steeper and longer...I would jump off of the bike just prior-until I figured out the brakes! I hated training wheels...they scared me more than jumping off of the bike! Too precarious-feeling...I guess her bike survived ok. I must have been around 7 or 8.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    There was a bike in my family we called the "Little Red Bike". If I saw one like it again, I'd recognize it instantly, but I can't really describe it. It was probably an old Schwinn, with the big wide stylish top tube. It was small and red, with black pinstriping. All my brothers and all my cousins on the south side of Chicago learned to ride on it.

    Eventually my family moved out to the suburbs, leaving the cousins behind, but the Little Red Bike came with us.

    I remember the day I learned to ride, clear as day. I was up early on the morning of April 26th, 1966. It was chilly but not cold. It must have rained the day before, because the skies were that scrubbed-clean blue that only happens after a rain. I had on pajamas and my quilted robe that I had to pull over my head, but the zipper was too short and it was hard to do and I hated it. I was barefoot and I was 4 years old.

    My brothers left for school and I walked them out, and then I saw the Little Red Bike, gleaming there in the dewey sunshine. I picked it up, straddled the seat and wobbled a few times trying to get both feet on the pedals at the same time.

    One foot down, half pedal, fall the other way, push with both feet on the ground, try again, get the robe out of the way...over and over again, up and down the side walk, until finally, finally, a full pedal stroke, then another, and then speed and steering and five whole break-your-mother's-back cracks and I was riding. Add my name to the list of cousins who learned to ride on the Little Red Bike!

    Overjoyed, I hatched a plan. I rushed in the house to find my mother, finally out of bed, enjoying a Kent cigarette and a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

    "Mommy! I have a present for your birthday! Come see!"

    Reluctantly, she got up and went to the window as I rushed down the stairs and out the front door. Then, making sure she was still looking, I mounted the Little Red Bike, pedaled down to the other end of the sidewalk, looked back and threw my mother a kiss.

    And that's how I learned to ride a bike.

    Karen

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    132
    I was given a new bike with training wheels for my 6th birthday. Living on a farm and riding on gravel, the traininig wheels were more of a hinder than a help. Being a junior mechanic wannabe, when Dad went down the road to finish chores, I took the training wheels off and and when he returned, I was riding without them. In retrospect, I'm thinking I should have become a bike mechanic

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Norwood, MA
    Posts
    485
    My parents had some interesting notions about sports equipment. The basic principle was that they were only going to get you one good set of what-ever. So when I wanted skis at twelve (Penny Pitou was expected to do great things at the winter Olympics that year) I got 6 foot, bear trap equipped, edgeless skiis. I was expected to grow into them. Unfortunately, that was the year I stopped growing, at 5 feet tall. I never really learned to ski.

    There was a small exception for bicycles. My parents refused to get us a new bike until we had already learned to ride, so we wouldn't scratch it up learning. So I learned to ride on an old, full sized bike, with out a seat. My Dad said that since I wouldn't be able to sit and pedal at the same time that a seat wasn't necessary. I tried for 3 summers to learn to ride. Finally, I admitted defeat, but since I was getting quite chubby then my mother asked my brother (the future engineering student) to rig up a way to hang the bike between the clothesline posts so I could at least get some exercise on it. I rode it that way for about a week, digging a rut in the yard as the rope stretched. At the end of the week, my brother took it down to re-adjust the ropes, but suggested that I try coasting down a hill before he hung it again. I tried, expecting nothing to be different, but this time I was able to stay upright long enough to start to pedal, and much to my surprise I pedalled away. The next spring I got a new bike for my birthday. It was from the "Coast to Coast" hardware store, a German bike with 26 inch wheels,15 to 18 years before MTBs were invented. I still took a lot of falls on that bike riding it down our limestone gravel road. In the summer it would get washboards that made it very hard to stay upright on the steeper sections. I have the scars left on my right elbow where a piece of gravel got completely buried and my Dad had to cut off the overlying skin to get it out. It took 3 years, but I did learn to ride my bike.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    225

    Smile

    I don't remember learning, but I do remember the pearl white bike with the banana seat.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    33
    I have only one memory of learning how to ride a bike, but I don't know if that was the only lesson or not. My dad was teaching me (he passed when I was 8, so I was younger than 8), in our back yard and I jerked my head back and hit his face. He had skin cancer really bad, and it was on his face...I'd hit the cancer and made it bleed I'm sure that's the only reason I remember that particular lesson.


    I remember my oldest 2 kids learning though! My son learned at 5 and he took some teaching...I guess with him being the first kid I'd babied him too much so he was scared to fall and I was scared of him falling. Took him awhile.

    My daughter, who is 2yrs younger taught herself within minutes when she was 4. She hopped on her cousin's bike that was too big for her and pretty much just went. No one had ever tried to teach her at all. She's a tomboy and not scared of anything though!

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    My first bike-related memory was watching with envy all the 'big kids' tearing around the neighborhood on their bikes. I had a training wheels on my bike at the time. I remember wanting to learn how to ride fast like them and one of them offered to teach me, but I was too chicken.

    A couple of years later, I remember riding in the parking lot of the local strip mall on a Sunday back when all stores were closed on Sundays. All I remember was making a sharp turn and hitting one of my pedals on the ground. The handlebars swung at me and one of them dug into my ribs causing me to lose my breath for the first time in my life. It scared the crap out of me.

    The next Sunday, my dad made me ride again. I never looked back!

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by newfsmith

    There was a small exception for bicycles. My parents refused to get us a new bike until we had already learned to ride, so we wouldn't scratch it up learning. So I learned to ride on an old, full sized bike, with out a seat.upright long enough to start to pedal, and much to my surprise I pedalled away. The next spring I got a new bike for my birthday. It was from the "Coast to Coast" hardware store, a German bike with 26 inch wheels,15 to 18 years before MTBs were invented. I still took a lot of falls on that bike riding it down our limestone gravel road. In the summer it would get washboards that made it very hard to stay upright on the steeper sections. I have the scars left on my right elbow where a piece of gravel got completely buried and my Dad had to cut off the overlying skin to get it out. It took 3 years, but I did learn to ride my bike.
    Did you ever get used to riding with a seat ?

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,975
    bikeless in WI "Did Dad also teach you to ride, Trek420? Or did Joel? I know I did a rescue once when you got a cramp in a lake, but I can't recall being involved when you learned to ride a bike. Maybe I was already away at college ...? Næh. You had a bike before you were 10, I'm pretty sure."

    Nope!

    Mom taught me how. Yep, the same Mom who never rode herself. We come from a line of good teachers

    I think I had a blue Schwinn. Mom was teaching at Mark West school and would spend days preparing the class room before school began. I remember helping her string crepe paper and with bulletin boards.

    But that only held my attention so long and once I'd read every book in sight she thought to bring the bike.

    At the school entrance was a long gentle ramp. She showed me how to coast with one foot on the pedal. I'd do that over and over.....coast, walk the bike up, coast, walk repeat.

    Then she showed me I could sit on the bike and coast and when it slowed enough just step down, still wasn't pedaling yet.

    I still remeber the feeling of starting to pedal and realizing I could go anywhere around the playground! Like flying! Still feels like that.
    Last edited by Trek420; 06-02-2006 at 05:10 AM.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Off eating cake.
    Posts
    1,700
    Quote Originally Posted by fishdr
    My daughter (4) is trying the bike without training wheels now (at her own desire)! She gets too nervous if I try to help her, so her friend sits on the back of the seat and acts like training wheels. She puts her feet down to keep balance and then lifts them up when FishJr isn't looking. FishJr has made it as far as a whole house length on her own! Now, if only she would pedal faster!
    OMG! That's so cute - hope you got a picture.



    We had one of those trikes with the pedals attached to the front wheel and one of those totally wicked chain trikes with big (to a preschooler, at least) wheels that I started riding probably as soon as I was big enough to reach the pedals.

    When I was three, I saw this bike in the toyshop and fell in love at once. She was pink with blue wheels and bars and white tyres, seat, grips and basket. There were plastic flowers attached to the basket and pink and blue streamers coming out of the ends of the handlebars. (I'll dig up a photo for y'al one day, promise!) It was a bike made for a girl, not something she'd have to share with her older brother and not something that had been handed down from him. Every time we went to the mall I'd want to go to the toyshop and then just stand there gaping at that bike; I think I was too starstruck to even beg for it. I was absolutely smitten, and absolutely gobsmacked to find it in the front room on my fourth birthday.

    I think I pretty much just got on and rode - not that different from the trikes with the training wheels on. I used to go up and down the drive. I didn't really like turning with the training wheels, yet I was a bit scared of going without , so it took a while for them to come off. Finally, after three or four months I plucked up the courage to have them off and I remember various family members giving me a wee push across the grass and I'd coast then put my feet down. I remember that the time I "got it" my grandfather had given me the push. I think I made him do it a couple more times, just because it was fun, and then I was off!

    I went through three (I think) second hand bikes before I got another new one for my thirteenth birthday. I wanted the purple and black "boys" mountain bike (It was fully rigid, but that's what they were called), but my mother did that "what do you want *that* for? It's a boy's bike" thing. Perhaps she still had some vague hope that I was going to grow up into a girly-girl (I was a wannabe tomboy - neither co-ordinated nor cool enough to be the real thing ). Anyway, I ended up with a purple girl's bike, which served me well as a get-about bike for a good 10/11 years until I replaced it with something with a suspension fork...
    Last edited by DirtDiva; 06-02-2006 at 02:12 AM.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by tlkiwi
    OMG! That's so cute - hope you got a picture.

    I wanted the purple and black "boys" mountain bike (It was fully rigid, but that's what they were called), but my mother did that "what do you want *that* for? It's a boy's bike" thing. Perhaps she still had some vague hope that I was going to grow up into a girly-girl (I was a wannabe tomboy - neither co-ordinated nor cool enough to be the real thing ). Anyway, I ended up with a purple girl's bike, which served me well as a get-about bike for a good 10/11 years until I replaced it with something with a suspension fork...
    Hey TLKiwi
    there's no rule that says tomboys have to be coordinated OR cool. I was one too, and i'm still not coordinated or cool and i'm 54.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Off eating cake.
    Posts
    1,700
    Of course not, but I didn't know that when I was a kid.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

 

 

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