After last week’s ‘First Clipless Moment‘ blog we thought we’d move onto the subject of your first ride on a bike without stabilisers.
It tends to follow the old “don’t let go Dad” with him promising he won’t routine. After a few seconds of running, he’s no where to be seen! It’s proof that all you need is a bit of courage and then you’re off!
We’ve asked various people around PBK to give us their recollections of their first solo ride without the much hated stabilisers…
Mine was pretty much as above, in the back garden with Mum observing and Dad assuring me he wouldn’t let go. A few pedal strokes in and I was getting on just fine, only to look round and see Dad standing back with Mum! As the trees at the end approached I managed a turn and somehow survived my adventure!
What you should also note is that my bikes were always too big for me (I would get my older cousins bikes once he had got a new one). To get on I usually had to stand on the kerb with the bike in the road – awesome fun/good job we lived on a very quiet road! This made stopping fairly tricky – usually just a slow fall and hope my feet would hold me up! I should also mention my sister who decided to have her first go without knowing what brakes were, what they were for or how to use them. Starting similar to my first route, she then followed the camber of the lawn and down, straight into the bottom bramble and holly bushes – not a happy 4 year old!
My overriding memory of those first miles? Being told to put it in a harder gear and stand up to get up the hill by my Dad – instilling that big ring mantra there and then!
What is always apparent with parents is their never ending obsession with wanting to capture their offspring on video attempting something dangerous for the first time!
I remember learning to ride my first bike because my parents being the sensible people they were, let our neighbour take the brunt! A keen cyclist, he taught every kid in the neighbourhood how to ride on his lawn (which was the flattest by far – probably a key factor now I think about it) which was riddled with tyre tracks, dents and the occasional small trails of blood. Many a time I ran crying back across the shared drive (rubbing my bleeding knees through the plants in the middle which didn’t help), having stacked it into the seemingly unavoidable fence. I don’t know what it was about that wooden fence, but I couldn’t fail to miss it. Object fixation?
Fast forward a couple of years and my overriding memory is of riding my bike down the street with the local kids and building jumps from wood I’d found in the garage. I found a picture of it the other day and despite what I remember, the jump was all of 3 inches but it felt massive as I rode over it on my BMX! As far as I was concerned, I may as well have been Steve Peat such was my grace and bravery on my bike. My other overriding memory is desperately trying to not need to go to the toilet because I knew that if I went inside it’d be bedtime and I wouldn’t be let out to play again in the (then) endless summer evenings. Funny what you remember!
Once we can stay upright we then seem to become a young Evil Knievel with no ramp, jump or plank of wood propped up on a tool box able to deter us.
My first memory of falling over was aiming to ride up a lowered kerb but hitting it just 20cm to the right (more object fixation?) and virtually stopping dead as small wheel met large kerbbstone. Luckily the postman was by who made sure I was OK!