Monday, October 10, 2011

If You're Scared, Don't Show It

Do you remember who taught you how to ride a bike?

I do. I remember just about everything from that moment. Of course that first tingle in your belly when you realize you have lift off and you're doing it. Doing it all by yourself. But I also remember silly things like the street I was on, and that I basically wobbled straight down the very center of it. Most importantly I remember it was my Grandma Helen who chased after me, hootin' and hollerin' and saying, "She's doing it. She's doing it." She is a peach, that Grandma of mine.

I even remember telling her that I was scared and I didn't want to try riding a two-wheeler. She told me to climb up on that bike (my father's childhood banana-seated bike) and said, "Well, that's OK. Just don't tell anyone."

Our Coop has learned to ride his bike. It was a rocky road to success. This past summer he swam lots and lots of laps, but he didn't pull that bike out of the garage much. So when he started first grade his badge of pride was a couple of medals, a few ribbons, and a trophy tucked away in his bedroom. Most of his friends rode up on their pride -- two-wheelers sans training wheels. It was a blow to the ego.

On one particular afternoon he had decided he'd had enough and he begged for a lesson from mom and dad. We planned it carefully. We mapped a gravel path that is mostly down hill where he could coast along and get the feel for balancing. And then we let him fall pretty hard. With a, "It doesn't get any worse than that." we brushed off his knees and put him back on the bike.

As with all things, once you get it you can't believe you took so long to figure it out. Now he's a real pro -- riding up hill, out of the saddle, over speed bumps, sideways inclines onto the sidewalk, even a small single track trail through the weeds to his school.

Congrats Coop! As always, we're proud of you.

PS -- I've even taken him with me on runs. He on the bike, me running like crazy to catch up.

PHOTO NOTE: Black gloves?????? He's cautious. What can I say.


Claudia said...

Way to go Cooper! I love the story about you learning to ride your bike with Grandma Helen cheering you on. Such good advice!

Glenda said...

Coop, High Five!!!
And pedal fast enough to keep your mom on her toes....

Adamo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adamo said...

Dad taught me on the sidewalk in front of our house on Stone Run. Most of the folks hadn't moved in yet so I can still see the vacant lots in my periphery with dad running along side. The bike I had was cool. It was an obscure brand called "Coast" and though not a "fixie" when you pedaled backwards you could do a transmission stop. This was an important safety feature as I learned on a friends bike that hitting the front brake whilst going downhill is an interesting lesson in inertia.

emma nelson said...

Precious moments to be remembere, for both Mom and Cooper. I don't remember when I first learned to ride, but i remember when I got my very own, used bike...what joy!

laurel said...

Way to go! This is a cool part of life.

Maylin has been learning too. The stearing part has her still a bit perplexed.

That is funny to have grandma comment on a bike. Just cuz one caused her so much grief. She obviously doesn't hold a grudge and has a great attitude.