Sunday, September 12, 2010

Learning to ride

My friend S. is from India. I feel terrible I am not able to spell her name. She has been in MO for about 10 years and has two boys 4 and 6. She never learned to ride a bike so she is experiencing a lot of emotions right now. She is excited to learn and a great student. She takes direction very well and is absorbing everything she can about bikes. She is also scared of falling and possibly getting hurt. She also said she was afraid of disappointing me. ??? I told her the only way she would disappoint me is if she doesnt have fun. I hope I dont disappoint her.

We met at an open parking lot for our first lesson. I brought Connor for her to try. With platforms . She said " your bike is so pro looking ". I chuckled. After lowering the seat she hopped on and said " I hope I dont drop your bike" Now, you all have seen Connor. He has many scratches and dings. I assured her it was okay if she dropped Connor, he is not as fragile as he looks. She laughed and said " you named your bike?". I said "yes, doesnt everybody". I put my helmet on her and off she went. After a few moments I realized that Connor is not a good fit for her. My arms are longer than hers so he works for me. She asked me to show her how I ride. I hopped a couple of parking lot obstacles for her while she watched me in absolute awe. She thought what I did was so amazing, all I did was hop a couple curbs. That helped me to remember where I came from. I started to tell her my rules. First rule: I dont talk to people who dont wear helmets! You will need to get one. Two: Do not ride a bike that doesnt fit you Three: Have fun. Did I leave any out?

After that short lesson, which she did ride across the parking lot very well, we went into Sports Authority so I could show her how cheap/expensive bikes were. She had talked to a guy on craigslist , who said he would build her a bike. After showing her , almost piece by piece ,how expensive that could get she looked at the ground and said " I dont know if I can afford a bike". That broke my heart. She is not planning on' doing what I do', so I told her she could buy a bike from Walmart or Target, since she really just wants to ride in her neighborhood and some Katy trail. I hope there are some good sales soon that she can take advantage of. I told her I would go with her if she needed help. She has a very supportive husband and said she would like to have him come too.

Later that evening she called me to say thank you , over and over. She is very excited to "get on with her journey" she said. I told her she should continue reading the book I gave her and buy a helmet. She informed me she had already bought a helmet on her way home. I had scared her with my story of launching into the creek at Quail Ridge. Mission Accomplished. I did not tell her any of my other "epic injuries"though. Protect your head is all she needs for now.

This week I plan to lend her my first bike which stays on the trainer. It should fit her much better and is not quite so intimidating. Plus it has gears. I have to get the pedals off first. They do not want to budge. Maybe with a little 'honey, can you help me' they will slide right off.

**** Edit****
S. got a bike this weekend. It turns out a fellow parent from preschool had one just gathering dust. She gave it to her. Tomorrow I will go to her house to check it out for her. We will be going on a hike at Brommelseik Park afterwards. S. is so happy she sounded like a kid at Christmas . Please let the bike fit her. Please....

1 comment:

  1. I think this is awesome! Way to pay it forward. Your friend will do great since she chose a great teacher. I think there is a saying that goes something like: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Very cool. Keep updating us on her progress.