Sarah Lysne: The joy of riding a bike, with a helmet
When I was about five years old, my parents bought me a blue Schwinn bike.
My dad put training wheels on it for a while, but then we kept practicing.
One day my dad was holding onto the back fender of the bike and running behind me as I tried to balance without my training wheels.
I didn’t realize it, but he let go. When I looked back and saw that I was balancing on my own, I panicked, but the initial fear turned to joy.
As an adult, I’ve never been a bike enthusiast, but when my daughter moved back to Austin a couple of years ago, we decided to start biking together.
I took my old bike down to the bike shop to get new brakes on it.
I had recently been diagnosed with ALS, and it was apparent that even though I had new hand brakes, they were going to be hard for me to use because the ALS was making my fingers weaker.
I decided not to give up on biking with my daughter, instead, I treated myself to a new bike. I bought a townie. It is a retro style bike with pedal brakes. The best part about the townie is that it was a pretty pink color with a white seat.
I took it home and started riding around the neighborhood.
One day I saw a five year old girl with her family, and we almost looked like twins. We both had pink bikes, pink helmets, and I was wearing a pink t- shirt.
I felt a little bit silly, but I still liked my bike, and I decided it is okay for adults to have pink bikes too.
My daughter and I had lots of fun biking together. We checked out some of the trails in Austin, and spent one afternoon enjoying the trails in Lanesboro, Minnesota.
One day I decided to ride my bike to visit a friend. It was a beautiful fall day, and as I rode down the street, I decided my pink bike was one of the best investments I have ever made.
After visiting my friend, I got on my bike and coasted down her driveway, but unfortunately I was going a little too fast. I tried to use my brakes, but when I put my feet down, my bike rocked back and forth. I suddenly fell to the ground. My helmet stayed on my head, but it bounced as it hit the pavement..
I hate to think what would have happened if he hadn’t been wearing my helmet.
My friend wanted me to call the clinic. After talking with a nurse and reviewing all the symptoms of a concussion, it was clear that I was fine. My helmet had saved the day.
My daughter and I decided that our bike riding trips would be over. The ALS was affecting my balance. I was a little bit sad, but we still exercise by walking her dog together.
I know that sometimes in life we have to give up things that we thought were important, but I realized that the only important thing is enjoying time with my daughter.