Hello, my name is Araceli. My story is about how I learned to ride bicycle. I was not fortunate to have a bicycle while growing up. By the time I was in my late twenties, I was eager to learn to ride. I looked at people riding bicycle and it looked very easy to do.
My husband is a cyclist. When we first met, I thought he was a professional rider. He had a T-Mobile bicycle and matching uniform all in the same pink-white colors. He wanted to teach me to ride, but I was so scared to try his bicycle. His bike was too tall for me and very light which made it seem not solid. The wheels were also very thin. I thought that due to that I would fall easily because it's hard to get my balance. I gave up after a few tries on his bike.
One day I was reading the newspaper and I found an article about Bike New York, a program which provides classes for children and adults in different locals in New York City. I registered to take my first class. In the meeting there were three or four teachers to assist us. We were fifteen students, all of us from different ages and ethnicity. This fact gave me confidence about learning to ride bicycle at my age. Age is not important to start to learn something new. There were people in their twenties through their sixties.
To begin our class, the teacher welcomed us and gave us instructions on how to adjust a helmet properly. He explained the mechanics of the bike, then took off its pedals. He wanted us to be able to feel relaxed and try to walk with the bike and then bent our feet forward to get balance. It was a fun time.
In my second class I felt more confident. The class started with wearing a helmet and again no pedals attached to the bicycle. Then the teacher observed us seeing who managed well to advance to the next steps. He installed the pedals again and gave new instructions. I walked the bike for a while until I put my feet in the pedals and rode for 30 seconds or more. It was an incredible feeling like flying. After my third class I registered for my first organized ride.
The ride was in Pennsylvania. It was called The Covered Bridges Ride. It had different distances and speed levels. It included rest stops. Participants could stop whenever they needed. I choose the 20 miles ride which started at 7:30 in the morning. I rode very slowly as it was my first opportunity sharing the rode with other riders. I liked to look around and enjoyed the scenery. I was happy when I saw the halfway point rest stop as I was so thirsty. I drank water, ate cookies and rested for a while. Then I rode the bike back to the start this time choosing to ride in the road with cars. I felt better managing the bike until I met a stick of wood that made me fall in the road. It wasn't a large piece of wood, but I lost my balance passing it. I hurt my knee, but with pain I continued to ride to the finish. I changed my clothes and waited my husband as he did the century ride.
Together we went to eat lunch and share with other our experiences about the day.
They had a great lunch consisting of pull pork sandwiches, fruits and cookies which were all very delicious.
I hope to participate and have fun in another ride this summer.