Aiden – Interview 8/19/14

Aiden and his "Gram" (grandmother) Marj had a bike riding lesson with me and related his experience learning how to ride a bike this summer and the challenges he had with it and I asked him if I could interview him for a more extended blog about his experiences.

Tell me a little bit about you, Aiden.

I’m 11 years old and just started 6th grade in Fishers, IN. Math is my favorite subject in school. I like to play soccer too.

Why did you decide to learn how to ride a bike this summer?

My Gram was very persistent, and kept bugging and encouraging me. She would go out for a bike ride and I couldn’t join her and that bugged me.

I had tried to ride a bike when I was younger, but I fell and didn’t want to try to ride again.

I was afraid to learn to ride when I got older because I get mocked at school and I didn’t want people to mock me when I couldn’t ride a bike. This time around, Gram enlisted a friend and we started by first looking at bikes at bike shops. We found a Red Line bike that I liked at BGI and got it in May.

Gram would pick me up after work two or three times a week to go riding.  I fell a lot in the beginning and earned "biker badges" (bandaids). We called falling off the bike "coming off the bike" and the rule was I had to get right back on the bike. We rode to the Do It Center for popcorn, Arby's for dinner, Yogi's for ice cream, Fishers Library,  Dairy Queen across a big intersection and my favorite places Dollar Tree and Goodwill.  After about two months, lots of practice and biker badges we rode to the Do It Center and they took my training wheels off! I was so happy and excited!

Gram was on a mission to help me learn how to ride a bike and she was very determined.

What other issues did you encounter when learning to ride?

I have ADHD which causes me to have anger issues and I find it hard to stay focused and hard to calm down. I get scared and upset more easily. I also need to be more patient with others. When I crashed a few times, I got very frustrated. When I crashed on one early bike ride, I got really upset and it took me awhile to get calmed back down.

To calm myself in the morning, I play games on my ipad – it helps me get energized and is like a cold shower to keep my brain more focused. Epic Pets is my current favorite game – teaching a cat how to do tricks.

With ADHD I have to be on alert all the time. For starting school this year Gram made a deal with me – if I had a smooth start with no issues for the first 3 days, we’d go on a road trip to Marengo Cave and the Pedestrian bridge across the Ohio River. I accomplished that. I’m also in regular classes all day for the first time. Now, if I keep up smooth days for longer, I’ll get additional money to spend on the trip and a free drink on the way.

What do you like about bicycling?

I like the sounds, whistling of air in my ears, the chirping of birds. I like to sing when I’m riding, I make up songs and stories while riding my bike.

What are you bicycling goals?

I would like to ride at least 10 miles. So far we’ve gone on a 6 mile ride (with stops along the way) as our longest ride. We’re lucky that there are many different favorite locations in our neighborhood.

What other activities do you like to do?

I like to play soccer, and love to read. I like looking into the wilderness – recently saw 2 turkey vultures. When I was younger I would climb an apple tree in Gram’s yard.

Thanks for sharing, Aiden. Good luck with your upcoming year in school and your next bicycling adventures.

Connie Szabo Schmucker, Advocacy Director

Bicycle Garage Indy / BGI Fitness

Indianapolis & Greenwood