Never mind that it didn't have training wheels. My daddy said he'd teach me how to ride without those infantile 4th and 5th wheels. And so he did. He ran along behind me on the side walk, he'd let go for brief periods, grab hold to correct any losses of balance I experienced, then repeat that cycle. I had not a care in the world because there was no way my daddy was going to let me down. If he said I could do it, I could do it.
And, of course, I could ride it without training wheels when he let go. I was doing a fantastic job of riding down that lovely, straight sidewalk. UNTIL
Until I was running out of sidewalk and needed to stop. And there was no one holding onto the back of the bike. Well, of course, you just pedal backward to activate the brakes, right? Ok, I did that. I had a big problem: the bike was too big for me to reach the ground with my butt on the seat. And still, I wasn't worried because there was the most beautiful, soft green grass I would just fall into.
Only it wasn't that soft, and I broke my arm. Unlike my buddy Tonggu Momma, though, I don't remember it hurting much - although I'm sure it must have. What I do remember is how angry my mother was with my father for allowing it to happen and how I got to spend a couple of hours with her during my trip to the ER ALL BY MYSELF. And quality time alone with my mom? Well, it was worth breaking my arm.
Did I learn anything from that experience? Of course I did! I learned that I had to get off the seat to put my foot down when I needed to stop the bike. It wasn't until I was a grown woman that it ever occurred to me that my dad should have seen that the bike was too big for me or that I'd likely hurt myself trying to ride it.