Learning to Ride the Bike in 1970

In the summer of 1970, I was five years old and my little brother Marty had just been born. I decided I was ready to learn to ride the bike my parents had gotten for me. It was a Schwinn blue bike. My dad had cut and strapped on wooden blocks to the pedals so my feet could touch the pedals and make the bike go. Training wheels weren’t an option in those days, at least no one we knew had used them to learn to ride.

blue schwinn bike 1970
This is what my bike looked like in 1970!

I remember my dad holding the bike by the seat of the bike and walking alongside the bike as I pedaled. Slowly but surely, as my confidence increased, my dad would let go of the seat a few minutes at a time. Soon, he had to run, crouched over, my dad was tall, as I pedaled faster and faster. He talked to me the whole time, encouraging me. Telling me I could do it. It took a bunch of times of us out there together. I don’t remember falling, but I have no doubt that I did!

By the end of the summer, I had gained enough skill to ride alone. The bike meant freedom!! I rode that bike every moment that I could. All the kids on the street rode bikes and we rode together. My lifelong love affair with biking was off to an excellent start.

Yesterday, July 6th, I went to the hospice nursing home to say goodbye to my father. Sitting with him, I retold him the story of learning to ride when I was five and he was twenty nine. I thanked him for his encouragement and his support. I told him that I still love riding my bicycle. Life with my father has not been easy. He made some harmful mistakes along the way. He also did a lot of good, kind things. Teaching me to love the bike was one beautiful gift he gave me.

Dad, where you will go next is a place filled with love, healing and connection. There is no Hell. You can let go of your body. Your Soul doesn’t die. This is simply a transition. You were there when I was born into this life. You welcomed me and my sister and brother with love.

I know that the transition to the next place is one that all of us make alone. And all the same, we are with you, holding peace and calm for you as you let go. Many blessings as you make this journey. Gratitude for all that I have learned from you and as a result of being your daughter. Thank you for being my father. Blessings and love as you let go.

we are all family and the planet is our home

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10 thoughts on “Learning to Ride the Bike in 1970”

  1. I am so sorry Mari!! What a wonderful tribute to your father. May you find joy and peace in your memories. HUGS

    • I love you Delinda!! Thank you. My father was a tough person, and he did give some amazing gifts. I am glad I can remember the gifts.

  2. Mari, I am sorry for your sufferings, amazed that you continue to inspire us all. You are a beautiful lady. I will always love you and be there, always. Be blessed. Be safe.

    • Juan,
      Thank you so much. Dying is no easy thing in this culture we have here in the US of denial, and thinking we will live forever. Another beautiful gift my father gave me is the joy of words. I have all my life loved reading and feeling how words fit together to tell beautiful stories. My father had a difficult life. And I wish for him peace and healing as he makes this transition.
      Blessings to you as well,

  3. Mari, I am thinking of you, knowing you are handling this transition with grace & wisdom, and wishing you peace & comfort with this wonderful visit you had with him.
    Love, Evelyn

    • Thank you Evelyn.
      It was beautiful to hear Kiki and Jojo tell Grandpa Tom that they loved him. They and Dina called last evening. He smiled when he heard their voices.

    • Thank you Tammy.
      I believe the words will flow as this transition happens. I have hesitated in my writing, because of a long held desire to protect my father. Once he makes this transition, I will not have to protect him. And strangely, and gratefully, I forgave him. I felt the forgiveness deep in my bones and my soul. It was a forgiveness that I have waited for. Death is a strange gift.
      Much love.

  4. Wrapping you in Love and Light my dear friend! It’s so very hard to move through the transition of a Beloved parent!

    I am so grateful knowing the spirit of your dad lives on in the presence of you! His “ripple in the waters of the Universe” is far reaching!

    My Warmest Blessings to you and your family!


    • Dearest Carla,
      Thank you. It is a difficult time. I am practicing Being Present. Along with doing lots of Radical Self Care. I also am feeling my feelings as this happens.
      You are very kind.

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