I learned to ride my bike at my grandparents house in the country, in their long, flat gravel driveway.
When I mastered the art of riding with no training wheels, we loaded up the bike and took it back to my house in town. In my very hilly, very non-flat neighborhood.
I started at the top of 6th St. I was flying down that hill and gaining speed with every second, when I realized I had no idea how to stop. I tried putting my feet down like I did in my grandparents driveway, and they simply bounced off the ground and flailed out behind me. I could swear there were sparks flying off the tips of my sneakers as they hit the asphalt. I finally landed in a ditch, crashing spectacularly. It was a long tear-filled walk back up that hill.
This week as I watched my six year old riding his bike, I noticed that he was just planting his feet down on the ground when we wanted to stop. No use of the brakes at all. Doesn’t work when flying down a hill, kid. I know Lubbock is flat but you might encounter a hill someday. We’re totally having a lesson about using the brakes.