06 March, 2013

Free At Last

One of the many FaceBook pages I frequent - does it make sense to say I seldom, because that would be more like it - posted a question. The page called Dusty Old Thing asked who remembered when they first learned to ride a bicycle. This image (right) was posted with the query.

I do - at least in some sense, but it isn't that video tape played back kind of recollection. Nor is it the flashbulb kind - like remembering all the details of where, how, and when I learned of JFK's assassination, Challenger'a destruction, or 911.

It was a joyous day. I remember the rush. I remember the sense of freedom.

I had been riding a bike for a while but with small training wheels extending on either side of the rear wheel. They gradually get bent as you lean left or right, but thank goodness they do. As they bend while you ride, you are spending more and more time with them up off the ground. You are two-wheeling. You are gaining more and more confidence. (My behavior modification students should note this is shaping, however accidental.)

I don't remember that part of it - too mundane, I suppose. What I recall is a discussion about whether I was ready for the training wheels finally to be removed. I remember my father - tools in hand - taking them off and then holding the bike as I got on. Off I went - like the wind. Just try to stop me.

By the way, that wasn't my last bike.
You can read about that one here - It's A Wonderful Bike.