I Remember When…I Learned to Ride a Bicycle

I’m toying with an idea for a new series called “I Remember When….”  The thought behind the series is to recall memories from my past and to possibly provide a little reflection on these memories.  I think it can be a blessing to recall things from our past.  It’s fun, but it also provides perspective on how we got to where we are now.  I used to roll my eyes when my dad would start a conversation with,  “I remember….”  But now, I see how remembering things from our past can be a great exercise.  I don’t have a major expectation for this series, but I’m guessing that the memories will vary between brief and light memories to more in-depth perspectives from my past.  I’d love to hear what you think along the way.  (For now, I’m looking at running the series on a weekly basis.)

I remember when I learned to ride a bicycle.  I was four years old.  My family lived on Illini Drive in Carol Stream, Illinois.  There weren’t any sidewalks right around our house.  So I practiced on our driveway with a smaller bike.  I could touch the ground easily with my feet.  Instead of putting on training wheels, I just wobbled back and forth from one foot to the other as I pretended and practiced “riding” this little green bike up and down our driveway.

My parents must have realized that this bike was too small for me and that I need a bigger bike with training wheels.  So they picked up a bigger bike with training wheels.  I’m not sure where they got the bike – if it was new or used.  It didn’t really matter.  It was harder for me to touch the ground with my feet, and my legs more naturally reached the pedals of this “new” bike.  As soon as I got the bike with the training wheels, I tried to ride it.  I honestly can’t remember riding it for long with the training wheels.

I remember asking my dad to take the training wheels off.  My memory is that this happened the first day I had the new bike, but I’d have to confirm this with my parents.  My dad took his tools out and removed the training wheels upon my request.  With the extra wheels removed, I took off across the front lawn – two wheels on the ground, feet on the pedals, and faster than a speeding bullet (at least that’s how I remember it).

The bicycle gave me a huge sense of freedom.  As I grew, I graduated to a bigger bike (red with a black banana seat).  This was my dare-devil bike.  The handle bars and my stomach became fast friends as they often met each other at the bottom of a big jump.  This bike was notorious for chewing up my pants as they would get caught in the chain.  Then I went through a couple of ten speed bikes.  These bikes increased my level of freedom.  I was able to go further and faster.  I used these bikes to travel to and from various jobs, school, and friends houses that were further away.  Now, I have a hybrid bike.  It’s perfect for riding along the trail near my house.  All this started when I started riding a bike at four years old.  I remember that!

Do you remember when you learned to ride a bicycle?  How old were you and do you remember your first bike?  Do you have any crazy bicycle stories to share?