In our culture, learning how to ride a bike for the first time is a major childhood accomplishment. At a young age, learning to finally ride without training wheels is a sign of maturity and skill. In a post on the Guardian‘s bike blog, Nicola Brady writes about those first bike riding experiences and reminds us of why they are so important.
As young children, riding a bike was a fun and playful activity. Whether you were riding to your friend’s house down the street, to school in the mornings or on a bike path with your parents, biking was always a fun and enjoyable way to move around. Today, as adults with years between us and our first bike riding experience, our bicycles too often clutter our garages, covered in rust and plagued with flat tires and old tubes. Brady’s post brings us back to the excitement that riding your bike once offered:
After this moment of glory, I began to neglect my bike. The teen years arrived, and it seemed that cycling was no longer cool. My bike sat neglected in the garage. I didn’t even notice when it was given away, and it was years before I was back on the saddle.
Included in the blog post are several guest stories of first time biking riding and the thrills (and bruises!) it brought. My favorite was Peter Walker’s, a fellow Guardian bike blog contributor Peter Walker:
“I can’t remember a single thing about it except that (in the pre-balance bike style of the times) I began with stabilisers before, one momentous day, my dad removed them. I can recall the thrill of freewheeling down a steep slope on our lawn shortly afterwards. The joy was tempered when, in my excitement, I rode over a treasured plastic bow and arrow set, snapping the bow.”
So often bike blogs focus on the best way to do something, fastest way to get somewhere or cheapest place to buy something. Instead, Brady’s post reminds bicyclists of the joy their bike brings them and provides them with motivation to continue riding. Connecting a, for some, everyday activity to a childhood memory just shows the impact of bicycles on our lives. Bikes provide a means of transportation, adventure, exercise and much more. Brady’s post pushes her readers to hold on to the love bicyclists have for their bike, for what ever they use them.
Do you remember your first time riding a bike?
Read Nicola Brady’s post here.