Day 183: To Ride or Not To Ride? A Question of Freedom and Support


In some places, translation is needed-even for the signs!

“The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles.  A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom.  The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.” Sloan Wilson

Perhaps the gender caused the unusual quote above.  I’ve raised three children and can honestly say that teaching them to ride a bicycle is nowhere on the list of “hardest part of raising a child.”  However, I like the idea that support and freedom are things we all need in life.

I want to ride my bicycle: I’m proud of my girlfriend who has started biking to work every morning. In some countries, having a bike is an essential mode of transportation.  Several years ago, I spent a lot of time travelling in and out of South Vietnam.  In those days, having a bicycle and a motorcycle to own or to borrow were both essential for daily travel.  It seemed there were no rules for how one must ride or what could be carried on a bicycle.  We saw large pieces of glass, chickens, four to five people, and many other things being transported by bicycle. My husband and I thought it would be fun to put together a slide show (that’s how long ago this was) of the things people could carry on a bike to the tune of Bicycle Race by Queen.  Bicycles for these hard-working people were necessary, and yet they did provide a sense of freedom.

Taking a bike out for a walk: It’s a new concept for me, but about twice a week, I see someone walking their bikes instead of walking their dogs.  I suppose bikes need some TLC too.  Seriously though, some cities don’t provide support for bikers. It does make one wonder how well the bike serves its purpose when for a good portion of the trip, riders are required to get off and walk the bike. When people choose a more healthy mode of transportation, they surely need our support.

When to ride and when not to ride: Each day is full of choices.  With this fourth of July coming up, we can thank our forefathers for the liberty they provided us to make our own choices.  We are fortunate to live in a country where support and freedom are both valued.  It is important, however, to keep questioning how both of these are still being played out in our daily lives.

In life, we all need both support and freedom as do our children.  Being people of great thought, it is important to continue to question the amount of freedom and support still being given to us.  Do we really have the choice to ride a bicycle? The example of the bicycle is a simple one, but freedom and support reach other parts of our daily lives as well. Is the law for man or is man for the law?  A good balance should always be in our minds.  Fighting for rights remains as important today as it was for our forefathers many years ago.

Do we still have a choice to ride or not to ride?  That is the question.


6 responses »

    • I’m missing you too, Ruth. I’m really learning a lot from being here, having some time, and visiting other blogger friends. I really like the way we connect around the world. Yesterday, I learned how to make an online test using Google docs with an automatic grader and average grade section. It was taught to me totally online by a middle school teacher. This is a wonderful time of life where we can learn from people of all different walks of life all around the world! See you soon!

  1. I really like the support / freedom at the beginning too. Here in Bristol we are supposed to be a ‘cycling city’ & although there are lots of cycle routes they can suddenly end & then there is quite a dangerous situation with other traffic.
    I do have a bit of a problem with cyclists who seem to think the rules of the rod do not apply to them.

    Many thanks for your kind comments on my post!

    • Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been thinking about that large scale pop-up idea. How might we do it in our classroom. I’m thinking that during each week, we should have the students become one of the scenes and photograph it throughout the year. This would give us a picture journal of the year. Some really great things you shared! Thanks for taking the time to make it entertaining. I know it was a big time investment!

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