Feel The Wind In Your Hair!

Did you know that May 1st is Learn To Ride A Bike Day?  Perhaps you remember having training wheels when you first learned?  Or maybe you got the hang of it right away and started on two wheels?

I remember my initial experience with bike riding.  My childhood friend, Jill, was going to receive a Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycle for her 9th birthday.  She had been awaiting its arrival for weeks.  Boy, was it cool!  It was the color purple.  And it had a banana seat, which had enough room for two people to sit on it.   Sometimes I sat behind her as she wheeled around the Allendale parking lot.

One day she allowed me to try my hand.  Now, in fact, I did not know how to ride a bicycle at age 8.  This I told her, but she said that was okay; she would teach me.  I got on that banana seat, placed both hands on the handle bars, placed one foot on a pedal, and picked up my other foot as I pushed down on the first pedal.  I was bike riding!  Bang!  I ran into the Allendale’s brick wall.  I had forgotten about braking.  Or turning.  I fell off, but the bike was unharmed!  And, luckily, so was our friendship.

By age 12 I had mastered the art of two wheels.  On sunny days you could find me exploring every dead end and cul-de-sac in Moline.  This knowledge still serves me well as a car driver.  I know the fastest routes throughout the city.

Do you want to remember the joy you felt when you first learned how to ride?  Here are some titles to help you remember the feel the wind in your hair and the utter sense of freedom:

My bike / illustrated by Byron Barton.

The bike lesson / by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Franklin rides a bike / written by Paulette Bourgeois ; illustrated by Brenda Clark.

Biking / by Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed.

The science of a bicycle : the science of forces / by Ian Graham.

Biking Iowa : 50 great road trips and trail rides / Bob Morgan

The cyclist who went out in the cold : adventures riding the Iron Curtain / Tim Moore.

A voyage across an ancient ocean : a bicycle journey through the northern dominion of oil / David Goodrich.

So in honor of this national holiday, I say to you, dust off your bicycle, pump up those tires, and go bike riding today!


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