Enid Hernandez was 62 years old when she learned how to ride. She is a Puerto Rico native admits that she has always wanted to ride but never learned. She tried it multiple times but her efforts were in vain and it would often result in injuries.
For Enid, learning to ride a bike was her dream come true, and it was a way to eliminate the stigma around her old age. She explained that she “wanted to show other women her age that they do not have to settle.” As long as it is physically possible, there is no limit to what can be achieved.
In Enids own words: "I grew up in New York City, but I’m from Puerto Rico. In the ’50s, girls didn’t ride bicycles. There were all these folktales: You would “lose your virginity” or you’d mess up your insides and wouldn’t be able to have children. Even though my parents were educated, they were old school. But I’ve always wanted to ride. I used to buy bicycles and then give them away because I didn’t know why I was buying them."
"I tried to learn in the ’70s, but I crashed and ended up in the hospital. I tried again in the ’80s. And in the ’90s. Two years ago I had someone try to teach me and I hit some rocks on my bike and cut open my hand. So I was like, “That’s it.” Then I found out about these classes".
"Was I nervous—are you kidding me? It was really scary. I was 60, and my greatest fear was breaking a bone. But with the nontraditional technique you really learn to find your balance. When I took my first pedal strokes I was laughing! It was so much fun, and I felt a sense of freedom, because I don’t own a vehicle anymore. When I first rode outside, I was terrified. But I did a breathing exercise that I learned from Pilates and just kept talking to myself until I got home: Don’t worry about anyone laughing at you, it’s just cycling".
"Normally after you reach age 50, people want to put you away from society. I want to show other women my age that you don’t have to settle for that. As long as it’s physically possible, you can do whatever you want. Now I’m even a better salsa dancer: Before I was able to turn only one, one and a half times, and now I can spin three because I make believe I’m on the bike".