How My Mom Inspired Me to Ride

by Elle Steele

Below our Trips for Kids Sacramento Chapter Director, Elle Steele shares a tribute to her very own “bicycle mom”.

Elle Steele photographed with her mom, Laurie Litman.

Elle Steele photographed with her mom, Laurie Litman.

My mom is half of where I got my biking genes from. It is truly not surprising that I am who I am after growing up with the stories of how she rode across the country when she was 20 or how she and my dad moved from Santa Cruz to Davis by bicycle.

I remember one story of hers where she wasn’t sure if she remembered how to even ride a bike, but she fell in love with one in a shop window and bought it without testing it. She waited until she was around the corner to give it a try. She relearned how to ride on that bike and it ended up being one of her favorite bikes. She and that bike took long adventures together.

At the age of 20 before the whole BikeCentennial took place, my mom rode across the country, getting sick along the way, but still pushing along.  I think perseverance is really her middle name!

When she met my dad, they rode across Canada together and when they moved from Santa Cruz to Davis California they moved with just the stuff they could carry on their bikes, stopping along the aqueduct to eat peaches from the orchards.

When mom had me and we moved to Stockton, California she didn’t get the opportunity to ride very often. I took note of that as  I didn’t want to lose that part of me once I had kids; so I made sure that we lived somewhere bikeable and started to teaching my kids how to ride safely from very early on so we could enjoy riding experiences together.

Laurie grabbing a lift with daughter Elle and one of her grandsons.

Laurie grabbing a lift with daughter Elle and one of her grandsons.

Just last year, my mom got on a bike for the first time in years and rode along the Coeur D’Alene trail on a 5-day bike tour with Adventure Cycling Association. She and my dad brought my kids along so I could still work as the mechanic on the tour but that we could experience it all together.  What a memory!

Elle Steele, pictured second from left along with her father, far left, children and her mother.

Elle Steele, pictured second from left along with her father, far left, children and her mother.

My mom is magic and I love her.

We think both Elle and her mom are pretty magical too. We thank Elle for sharing her stories with us.

Did your mom and/or dad inspire you to ride a bicycle? If so, share your story with us below in the comments section.

Wising everyone a happy bike month!

Amy CarverComment