Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My First Ride

Can you remember your first bicycle ride?  I can.  It was the summer of 1973.  My mom and dad bought me a two wheeler with training wheels.  The two wheels were made of hard solid rubber.  The seat was deep green and made of plastic; the frame was lime green.  It was ugly, but to a 4 year old it was beautiful.

My dad took me out to the backyard patio and started the process of holding on and letting go as I wiggled in the seat, tipped back and forth, and then, BAM, I actually pedaled unassisted for a few revolutions.  It was time to hit the street and go for distance w dad's help.  The Big Wheel was a toy of the past now.

I don't remember how long it took that day to go completely solo, but it couldn't have been too long since time flies when you're having fun.  It felt like I had my first three speed the next day.
Oh my, my first three speed.  My first "real" bicycle.  It was blue; it had a white banana seat.  The seat bar was tall, if it was two feet high it was five.  The handlebars were tall too, chopper like. The shifter sat in the center of the cross bar (the ball buster).  Wanting to be like Eval Kneval, I shifted all the time hoping to get just a little more speed.  The speed existed in my mind which raced up and down Hyman Ave always believing to be the fastest cyclist in the neighborhood.

What a feeling!  Doing things for the first time.  Riding all over the neighborhood.  Riding to grandma and grandpa's house or jumping on your bike, heading for the  5 & 10 for a pack of baseball cards was independence. Traveling by bicycle was the best experience a child could ever enjoy.

Any baseball cards I didn't want (usually Yankees cards), I placed onto the spokes with a clothes pin.  The card clicking against each spoke, faster and faster, click, click, click, made my three speed a motorcycle.  Zoom, I could go as fast as I wanted, as loud as I wanted.  The louder the rattle, the faster the bicycle spun.  Oh what fun.

Once dad let go of my Lightening Lime bicycle, he not only taught me the virtue of patience, but he taught me to trust my ability to accomplish the impossible.  Riding a two wheeler for the first time gave me a taste for adventure.  I could go anywhere, anytime.

Enjoy the adventure.  Til our next adventure, I will see you on the road.
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