SM: You want your kids to be confident riders. But, confident doesn't mean reckless. Confident means they feel safe on the road because they know the rules and they know what to look out for. Like most things, it's important that we model the behavior we want to see from them. Ride with them and put them in the street when you feel they are ready. Start on a quiet residential street and work up to busier areas. Confidence doesn't come overnight, but when it does it's awesome.About Shereef Shereef Moustafa is a resident of Long Beach and a bicycle commuter. He's a busy father of school aged kids and enjoys volunteering in community events. His ongoing portrait project of Long Beach residents and their bikes can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shereefmoustafa/sets/72157628087697796/
Entries in Melissa Bell (2)
Melissa and Lulu by Shereef Moustafa
Valentine's Day was approaching and like for most “holidays” the boyfriend didn’t know what to get me. I am not picky. I will love anything someone gives me, because just the thought alone means the world to me. But he still wanted to get me something thoughtful. However, I am not very materialistic and don’t NEED anything except for hummus, and Netflix. So this was difficult for him.
Now keep in mind he had bought a bike almost a year ago. The purpose being because he was getting older and skateboarding from my house to his was a good 2.5 miles. Also him skateboarding at night made me a worried wreck. So a bike was more logical for further destinations and my sanity.
Flash back to almost Valentine's Day and its sunny and boyfriend is riding his bike to school and work, and it seems like the rest of Long Beach is too; while I’m stuck in traffic on PCH. Boyfriend had offered to get me a bike earlier so we could ride together, but I admit I was afraid. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was five and barely got the training wheels off. However, I became really interested in the styles of bikes. I really enjoyed the beach cruiser look, but I heard they are heavy. I live in a studio so heaving that thing around would be difficult. I then became interested in the town bikes. Some of the older ones were adorable, and they had different speeds which would make pedaling a lot easier.
I found one on Craigslist.org that I fell in love with. She was white, and had a tiny frame. I’m barely 5’1 so I thought she’d be perfect. Slyly suggesting it to the boyfriend he got the hint. Coming home one night he had her leaning against the wall as I walked in. My first thought was “oh, my, she is gorgeous“, and my second thought was, “oh, shit,, I’m actually gonna have to ride this”!
That night my friends and I were celebrating a birthday at Sgt. Peppers. I admit I’m a light weight and after having two gummy bear cocktails I was good. I kept telling everyone about my new bike and how she was vintage and I named her Lulu, because she looked like a Lulu. I even proceeded to drunk text people a picture of Lulu. I apologized the next day, I was just excited. Can you blame me?
Early one morning I psyched myself up and dragged her out to the alley behind my apartment. I’m going to save y’all from the pain, but lets just say it took awhile to gain my balance. Slowly I mastered riding around the block… on the sidewalk. Then finally brave enough I took her down to the beach and rode for a good hour. I was sore, but loved every moment of it!
I then decided to try and ride around 4th street. I wanted to get new grips for my handlebars and possibly a basket. Too afraid to ride on 4th street I took the alley all the way down to 4th and Cherry. I felt comfortable and fearless.
Then I met Melissa Balmer. I was so infatuated with Women On Bikes So Cal, and the message she was delivering. I love biking and am a huge advocate for women so I thought I’d ask her for an internship. To my surprise she was delighted and said yes! I look forward to my adventures with Women On Bikes, and the adventures I will acquire and ultimately get to share.
About Melissa Bell
A senior at California State University, Long Beach she studies journalism and creative writing. In her spare time she loves to write short stories and poetry. Melissa has had poetry published in JAGed Magazine, and Bank Heavy Press. She has experience as an event writer, as well as, writing adventure pieces for Flasking.com. While, she adores writing she is still unsure of where she will end up with her career. Nonetheless, she knows she wants to do something that she enjoys, rather than something that just pays the rent. Read more...