After attending the very first New West Grand Prix, I am happy to report that the future of cycling is in good hands! I was so happy to see the energy, enthusiasm, and sheer courage of the very young cyclists in the kids and youth events (3 years old and up!) And it made me think that not only is the next generation of cycling in good hands, but also – the Circle of Life is more fun on a bike!
I made a video to share with you just how inspiring it was to watch the kids on their bikes. Watch out for the boy with training wheels who emerges – undaunted – from a pile-up and just BIKES ON, and the girl in pink who seems to have the determination of a future Olympian.
Did you see the little girl in pink? Man, she impressed me. At a glance, she doesn’t LOOK intimidating. But … look at her face. She is Determination Personified, right from the start. She went on to win her event, and it should have come as no surprise to anyone! She faced a very strong challenge from a little boy in blue, but she hung in there – and she won.
Later, I watched the Youth cyclists powering up the extremely tough 8th Street. Towards the end, some of the younger cyclists got tired – but none of them ever gave up. Determination, Personified. And yes, the future of cycling is in good hands.
The Circle of Life is More Fun on a Bike!
I can still vividly remember learning to ride a bike. Pretty much on my own, except with a little help from my buddy next door. Falling over, getting up, falling over again. And again. There was a lot of falling, and a lot of slamming into trees. Determination, Personified. Although back then, I didn’t think of it that way. I just thought I was having fun on a bike.
Those are some of the best memories of my life. And definitely the most vivid. I can still SEE that tree I kept slamming into. I can still SEE my first red Chopper bike. The excitement of a new bike … that has never faded for me, and I trust it never will. So I actually do understand how these young cyclists feel, and how they are motivated by the joy of cycling. Even though I seem to have somehow got a bit older, and I now spend my weekends with Maggie, teaching my grandkids how to ride bikes. Here’s Maggie with our granddaughter Kara, and our grandson Connor.
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Here is a very short video of Maggie taking her turn running with Kara. Kara is at the stage where you have to run with her, holding the saddle of her bike, because she can’t quite balance yet. It’s hard work!
I had a very special moment last weekend with Kara. I was running with her, holding her saddle. Suddenly there was a moment when she started to take off, alone, and my hand lost touch with her saddle. I could feel her speeding off, leaving me behind because I could not run fast enough to keep up – and I thought, “Go girl, go!” Then she started to fall again and I had to help her. But next weekend – perhaps she will fly all on her own. If not next weekend, then perhaps next month. Sooner or later, she will feel the joy of cycling – the speed, the power, the wind in your face that comes from being on a machine that is 32 times more efficient than just walking!
We ended up writing a post about how to teach your child to ride a bike: 9 Simple Steps to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike.
If your child is still too young to ride a bike, consider taking him or her along on your own bike! That way, they can experience the joy of cycling too. Read our in-depth post, 7 of the Best and Safest Baby and Child Bike Seats, with Reviews and Videos.
The circle of life is more fun on a bike!
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