Ginger Gets a Bike!

Posted by mrssmythe on June 20, 2016 in Family, Reminiscing |

For Father’s Day, we chose to celebrate with a time-honored father-child ritual…learning to ride a bicycle.


Specifically, Ginger learned to ride a bicycle.

Now, Ginger is eleven – a bit older than most children are when they first learn to ride, but her age, along with the balance and coordination she gained in activities like ice skating and dance, definitely worked to her advantage. Also, the owner of the bike shop where CPT A took her was very experienced in helping kids learn to ride. He took her out front, put her on a bike, gave her a couple of tips, and off she went. No training wheels, no wobbling, no spills. By evening, Ginger was riding laps around a nearby school, absolutely thrilled.

But, before that, there were lots of laps around the garden in the back yard.


We live on a slope, so she got plenty of practice riding up and downhill. Also, in shifting gears.


CPT A and I sat on the back patio and shouted encouragement. When we weren’t ladling out the praise, we reminisced about our own childhood bike riding experiences; the learning process, the painful crashes, and how important bicycles were to us in our teen and young adult years. After we were married, we spent six months in Germany with bicycles as our only form of transportation. It was both wonderful and frustrating. I can still remember the challenge of riding home with a newly purchased vacuum cleaner.


But I wouldn’t trade any of it. Those were good times, and I’m excited that Ginger has begun to accrue her own bicycling memories.

In the meantime, my challenge has been getting her to spots where she can ride without having to deal with a lot of traffic. Today I took her to a local park. I spent most of the time seeing her as a tiny speck on the horizon.


Which made me think that it would be much easier to keep up with her if I had a bike of my own….

I might have to look into that.

From the dining room table, getting ready to watch an episode of I Love Lucy with the girls,

Mrs. Smythe



  • Tea Lady says:

    So happy for Ginger! I must admit I don’t enjoy bike riding like I did when I was a kid. The seats are too skinny. I keep looking for a tractor seat for my bike…..

  • Grandma M says:

    I got my first bike at 13 and was thrilled. Rode it all over NW Chicago and near suburbs. (there were more close to my house in those days.) Found all the safer roads, and even rode to a nearby stable to watch the horses and riders. Like you said, great bicycle memories. Loved that bike!

    • mrssmythe says:

      Thanks for sharing your great bicycle memories, Grandma M! It’s fun to imagine you doing that.

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