Monday, October 28, 2013

Big girl bike: Day 1

Maybelle on her new bike, not screaming
This is from yesterday.  Today I was wearing a helmet.
Maybelle and I rode to school today for the very first time on her big girl bike.  The weather was beautiful.  We kept by and large to back roads, so the traffic wasn't so bad.

Guess which one of us was scared shitless and practically vomited from fear?  Guess which one of us had hand cramps from holding onto the handle bars so fiercely?  Guess which one of us gave herself a headache from clenching her teeth so hard?

And guess which one of us happily exclaimed, "New bike!", called out "Good morning!" to strangers we passed, said "Great job, Maybelle" repeatedly, and never fussed once?

Maybelle is clearly more comfortable with transition than I am.  And good for her.

The bike is entirely safe.  We lowered the seat a bit, and I strapped her into it so tightly that she might have underarm sores.  She couldn't fall out or off, no matter what.  She could put her feet on the pedals (just barely, but she could), but she didn't have to push.  She's welcome to do so if the spirit moves her, but it doesn't affect the biking at all either way.

But the stakes were so high for me as the driver.  In a previous post about this, commenter Nan said, "Don't worry! On the ride-along you will feel every little move! Really! Trust me!"  Here's the problem:  I felt every little move!  When Maybelle would shift her weight a tiny bit, I felt it, and I had to compensate--just a bit, but enough that I felt new muscles having to operate.

When we started the three-mile ride, I was lucky if I could "go straight" by staying on the road.  When we got to Hampton Park I was able to stay within about a four-foot margin.  By the time we got to school, I was able to do my usual thing of steering an inch away from a bump on the road.  But that usual thing was hard.  My attention had to be incredibly focused.  My body had to be on on on, every single muscle and ligament and tendon and whatever else is in the human body.  Intestines!  Throat!  Spine!  Scalp!

That was day 1.  My friend said by the end of the week she'd be comfortable.  Now my hope is that by the end of the week, I am comfortable.  Wish me luck.


  1. Made me laugh at the memory! Yes! I just about passed out from the exersion and fear the first time, I was sure I was going to crash us into the river or a tree (didn't try the street! just the bike path). Jess waved at all our neighbours and community friends who ENCOURAGED her! I had to yell at them: "no waving! no waving!" Oh, you are going to love it! and the new muscles! and the FREEdom! So will Maybelle

    1. Ha! "No waving! No waving!" Yes, that's it exactly!

      Okay, you didn't warn me about this in your first comment!

  2. I want to be encouraging, but I'm still giggling.

  3. Oh i had always hoped to have one of those with my kids but they all hated biking!

    Cme here from your guest post at Thin Places