Many a young’un has learned to ride a bicycle on a bicycle equipped with training wheels. Carl’s first bicycle had training wheel. I don’t remember if Terrie, Sheila and Shawn started out with training wheels. My learning experience was to say the least unique.
My paw and maw lived on what I thought of back then as a hill. They lived at the top of the hill, my Uncle Curt and Aunt Ida Pearl lived at the bottom and just past their house was a short bridge over a creek then the road went up hill again.
There was an old bicycle in paw’s barn that didn’t have training wheels and it was missing a chain, too. When my cousins Larry and Donnie Ziglar were around and on those occasions when Aunt Geraldine and family were visiting from Mobile, we would get cousin Danny Adams involved in our foolishness. We were all within a year of being the same age and the same lack of experience with riding a bicycle.
Well, our goal on these occasions was to straddle that old bike and ride it down the hill past Uncle Curt’s across the bridge and as far up the other hill as we could. Three obstacles stood in the way of this accomplishment. One, just before you got to Uncle Curt’s there was a deep gully (ditch to city folk) on the left side of the road that stayed full of mud (as young’uns we thought of it as quick sand). Two, on the right side of the road was a briar patch that only Uncle Remus’ Br’er Rabbit would enjoy falling into. Three, none of us had any real experience riding a bicycle.
When we were all there and ready to go, one of us would get on that old bicycle and head off down the hill. If you lost control or started toward one of the road hazards (gully or briar patch) the only thing you could do was try to stop using your feet (no chain, no brakes). There was a time or two when one or more of us almost ended up in that gully or briar patch.
We worked at it and eventually accomplished our goal. We learned how to ride a bicycle and managed to get part way up the other hill. We had fun, real fun!