Throughout history, many inventions have transformed society’s values and norms. One humble mode of transportation has done more than you might think. This month we celebrate the bicycle.
When we hear the word “bike,” we often think of cleaner air, a healthy lifestyle, and childhood memories of training wheels and scraped knees. Taking a closer look we can see an invention that has empowered women, changed fashion, and provided transportation independence. Bicycles have been around for over 200 years. They are connected to important movements throughout history.
This month, Los Angeles-based Associate Education Director Prima Gonzalez is using the history of bicycles as a tool to generate conversation and storytelling in her classes. Here are what a couple of students shared when asked, “How has the bicycle affected you?”
“I begged my father for a long time and he finally agreed to buy a bike for me. On the weekends he taught me how to ride it. At first I was nervous and I always felt I would fall down. But my father encouraged me to be brave. After this, I learned that never giving up will make me successful.” – Frey, Pengfei Huang, Level 3
“In my childhood, all my friends could ride a bicycle, but I couldn’t. I thought it was a shame. My parents were very busy, so my grandfather taught me how to ride. I was very terrible at first. My grandfather told me, ‘You’re a man. You need to overcome this difficulty. If you’re afraid of danger, I think you shouldn’t learn how to ride.’ So, I did it! I learned how to ride my bike. This memory is very important because I love my grandpa.” – James, Bohan Yang, Level 3
If you are curious to hear our students telling their stories in their own voices, below are two clips of ESL NYFA students sharing their most memorable experiences on a bicycle.
Story by Jam, Rencheng Liu, Level 3:
Story by PaPa, Ziwei Han, Level 4:
We hope to see you on the bike path!