I was in the shower this morning and for some reason started daydreaming about what it might be like to teach you how to ride a bike without training wheels.
Beyond the G.I. Joe airplane that I got for Christmas one year, learning how to ride a bike with no training wheels is one of my earliest childhood memories.
My mother and I lived in a townhome in North Carolina and there was a long grassy hill — not too steep — on the side of our house. That’s where I learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
Depending on who you ask, you might get one of two versions about how this all transpired.
My Version – my mom helped me get on the bike and made sure I was balanced. Then, while giving me a little push by the seat, she started walking forward with me as I started to ride down the hill. And the next thing you know she’d let go of the bike and off I went. After that, the training wheels were never to be seen again.
Moms version – similar to my version, she helped me get on the bike and made sure I was balanced. She then started to give me a little push and walked forwards as I started to ride. This is where we differ. Instead of letting go, she claims she held on to keep me from falling all while I kept yelling, “Let go, let go!”
No matter which version is correct, I picked up riding a bike pretty early and it’s always been something I’ve loved to do.
You don’t know this yet, but you will be living in New York City. It’s a bit of a concrete jungle. So, this morning I was thinking through where we might do our first no training wheels bike ride.
My mom got it right when putting me on the grass as a starting point. Why? Because falling over on concrete doesn’t feel that great.
I’ll tell you in advance though, it’s OK if you fall over. It might be a bit scary if it happens, but you’ll be just fine. It happens to the best of us. You’ll just get back up and try again. Oh, and unlike my experience, you’ll have a helmet on that precious noggin of yours when riding your bike.
There are a number of places in the city that I think I’ll be able to safely teach you. Two in particular are Battery Park City and Central Park.
Who knows, maybe your mom and I will pack a picnic and we will take a family trip to the park. And hey, if you don’t learn on the first outing, that’s perfectly OK. We will keep at it until you fill comfortable.