Happy Holidays – part two
Last week we started a three-part series dedicated to a true, feel-good bicycle story. The beginning of this story is featured in our winter Messenger and these next two parts will be featured in our spring issue. This week Mateo continues his story.
Mateo is a high school junior, earning Florida Bright Futures Community Service Hours through his contributions to Florida Bicycle Association. After witnessing first-hand his enthusiasm for cycling, Mateo was asked to tell his story. The following is Mateo’s second chapter in describing what the bicycle means to him. We hope you enjoy this unique perspective:
That New Year’s night, furor and happiness increased all around my house or at least that was my perspective. Maybe it was just me or maybe it was the first time I opened myself that widely and I saw the world around me more clearly. I was happy and couldn’t leave my bike for even a second; I fell asleep on it.
Weeks passed and I rode my bike every day, but I was frustrated. The training wheels were still on, keeping me from real freedom. I met Renny, a guy from my neighborhood who was 5 years older than me. Renny’s claim to fame was being the world champion, however I later learned it was not true. As a kid, I believed in everyone and everything that was told to me.
Renny became my best friend anyway and he is the one who taught me how to ride my bike. Surprisingly, it only took three tries. I fell once and almost caused a major car accident on the second, but I learned on the third. That was for sure one of the most significant moments of my life as a BMX rider, but not as much as the support of my family.
I have lived with my mother, my Aunt Patricia and my sister ever since I can remember and I am really lucky to have my aunt around. She is incredible. She is my mentor, psychologist, teacher and life coach. She has always been there for me and of course, was the one who started me in this crazy journey with racing.
One Sunday morning after church Aunt Patricia took me to the city’s BMX park against my mother’s will. She took me to the starting hill and just left me there. I knew what to do and did everything I’d seen on TV… well not quite. I didn’t have the experience to do everything, but someone there did. My first BMX coach spotted me that very day and if it weren’t for him my life would have been God knows what.
Stay tuned for part three next week.
On behalf of the Florida Bicycle Association Board of Directors, we wish you a happy and healthy 2018.
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.
Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!
Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general bicycle educational presentation. The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, county and city elected officials, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content. There is no fee. Visit the FBA Presentations page to see our complete line of signature presentations.
Have you heard? We have Move Over for People bill sponsors!! Thank you Senator Baxley, District 12, for filing SB 116 and House Representative Stone, District 22, for filing HB 117. Would you like to work the process with us to see these bills become a law? Visit our Legislative Platform page to learn more about our advocacy initiatives and to sign up for our 2018 Florida legislative session email updates.
Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association share a common cause in bicycle education and promotion for residents and visitors to the Sunshine State. Share the Road license plate proceeds benefit Bike Florida and Florida Bicycle Association to further these efforts. What’s on your motor vehicle? Get the Share the Road license plate!