cycling · fitness

Remember your first bike ride? Maggie does!

Today’s post is courtesy of my 8-year-old friend Maggie.  She’s an avid bike rider who just reached a new milestone: she rode her bike (sans training wheels) all the way from her house to the beach. And back. Her dad posted a triumphant picture of her on Facebook, and I just had to get the full scoop. Maggie and I zoomed this week and she filled me in on the details.

Maggie says that she used to ride a large trike to the beach. It had a basket for carrying things, so was very useful.

Maggie 1.0, on her three-wheeler with basket and pink helmet.
Maggie 1.0, on her three-wheeler with basket and pink helmet.

However, there was a mechanical failure, resulting in breakage of the bike, a sprained arm and a chipped tooth. Ouch. The trike was now toast, but Maggie was looking beyond to find a new ride. However, bike stores have had limited hours and have been running short on supplies. This means no training wheels are to be had.

Enter her brother Jack’s bike.  It’s a bigger bike and doesn’t come with training wheels. As a result, Maggie had to turn up the volume on skill building, especially with bike handling and turning (I’m guessing this bike has a much bigger wheel base).

Maggie’s dad, Louis, made a deal with her: if they rode together from their house all the way to the beach and back (stopping as many times as she wanted), her reward would be lots of decorations for the new-to-her bike. We’re talking streamers for the handlebars, plastic stars in the wheel spokes, and who knows what all. The offer was too good to refuse.

So off they went. Maggie reported being a bit nervous, but also excited on the way there. They stopped a couple of times, but they made it to the beach easily. Maggie said she was so happy! This meant she could now reliably get to the beach on two wheels instead of two feet. I’m sure we can all relate.

Maggie 2.0, at the beach, triumphant about her two-wheeled power.
Maggie 2.0, at the beach, triumphant about her two-wheeled power.

I asked her if the trip back was harder; she said no, not at all– it was way less stressful coming back. And, Maggie was really looking forward to adorning her bike with the new decorations. Which was the first thing she did when they got back. The second thing was to take a big gulp of water from the hose.

Maggie back home, flush with satisfaction over her successful ride and fully tricked-out bike. Mission accomplished!

Readers—does Maggie’s big ride remind you of a big ride, hike, swim, or some other physical activity you did when you were younger? Feel free to let Maggie and me know here in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Remember your first bike ride? Maggie does!

  1. I learned to ride a neighbor kid’s bike when I was 6. It was a boy’s bike, and I was proud that I could ride it. I got my own bike that year for Christmas. I rode bikes for decades, especially riding in challenges for fundraising like the American Lung Assn and for AIDS. I was thrilled the day I rode a century, many, many years later after I got a very light 27-gear road bike.

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  2. It was happy memories of cycling a shared bike with 2 other sisters when 11-19 yrs. old, why I returned to cycling @32 yrs. old

    I learned to bike @ 11 yrs. when the bike was too big for me.

    Whenever one cycles with a child/teen, make it best fun thing with them /for them. They may be inspired later.

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  3. You go, Maggie. I well remember my first two-wheeler and the exhilarating triumph I felt at the balance I’d achieved—also quite frankly the freedom I would have. Even greater was the thrill of riding with no hands on the handle bars. Look Ma no hands!! Thanks for this memory, Catherine!

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