Hell on wheels

Elle learned how to ride her bike the weekend before last.  I threw her and her bike on the sidewalk across the street and pretended to not pay any attention to her while I vacuumed out my car.  When I got to the backseat, I was able to look through the rear window and watch her ride her bike.  It was a refreshing change from the helmet-slamming-bicycle-throwing-I-HATE-MY-BIKKKEEEE-aaayyeeee weekends we’ve experienced in the past.  So as soon as I stopped looking at her, she did it. And she actually did it on two flat tires, because after letting it rest on the garage floor for the last two months…well, things go flat.  And I didn’t notice.  Ooops, my bad. So you can imagine what happened after we went down the street to Mr. Fred’s house and he pumped air into those puppies.


And off she went.   Elle’s hoping to one day gain enough speed and confidence to pop a wheelie yet she freaks out when she takes a small tumble and scratches up the palms of her hands.  Wait ‘til she tries to ride that bike with no hands, or accidentally pulls in the front tire brake instead of the back tire break, or attempts to get her bike up the sidewalk and hits the corner of the curb instead. 

Buck up, sista.  The side effects of a tetanus shot are ten times worse than eating asphalt, in my opinion.  As long as you keep all your teeth and can pull the gravel out of your knees, elbows, and facial wounds, I think you’ll be just fine. 

I used to worry that my child would be one of the last kids to ever learn how to ride a bike before she legally became an adult.  Now it looks like my child will be one of the last kids to ever learn how to tie her shoes before she legally becomes an adult. 

Balls!  I’m totally losing here.  At least I’ve got the training wheels off. 

And the best part is that Elle has found her own kind in a group of kids who live a few houses down from us.  They ride their bikes and scooters every day after school like a biker gang until “our mom tells us we can come home.”  This came from a little Urkle-like boy who promised to watch out for my daughter the same way he watches out for his two little sisters.  They call me “ma’am” and wave to me when I drive down the street, either coming or going.  Their parents make them play outside.  I like these people.  I like these kids.  And I think Elle likes them, too.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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One Response to Hell on wheels

  1. Chris says:

    There is something inherently freeing about learning to ride a bike. I remember both of my boys changed they day they learned to ride on two wheels. More confident. More adventurous.

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