Getting "Schooled" by the Student

DevynToday’s cycling student was six-year old Devyn.  A big smile at all times.  She came with a brand new bike (and a cute helmet from Frozen) and ready to learn.  She’ll be growing into the bike for several years, so she had to use a lot of strength to manage all that steel (but she never complained, never quit, and didn’t even want water breaks).  Tons of spunk!

Once in a while, the student teaches this Coach.  Today was about semantics.  I have always said to push “down” on the pedals to engage the coaster brake (remember when your bike had the back brakes with the pedals, not on the handlebars?).  Well, it took a while for me to figure out why she wasn’t stopping consistently (I might have been a little brain-dead from 4 hrs of riding/1 hr of running yesterday and 2 hours of running this morning).  When the pedals are at 12 and 6 o’clock, if she is pushing straight DOWN (literally, towards the ground), she will not engage the coaster brake.  Duh, Coach!  The RIGHT word is push (or pedal) BACKWARDS.  I’ve used the words interchangeably over the years, but never ran into this misunderstanding.  Luckily, I figured it out and I’ll never say DOWN again!  Thanks for teaching me, Devyn.

She’s riding.  Turning.  And thankfully stopping.  Practice this week will get her there, and she’s super confident now.  And course, smiling big.

Great job, Devyn!

February 11th Update:  Today’s mail included a surprise from Devyn.  Seeing the smiles on the kids’ (and parents’) faces makes this all worthwhile.  But things like this make it even better.

devyn pic


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