Reading journal after journal about bicycles has led back to my childhood once again.
I was probably 8 or 9 years old. My biking experience started with a regular blue bicycle for boys. It must have belonged to someone else and passed on to me. I recall it was a boys bike not only because it was blue but the bar connecting the handle to the seat was straight and not diagonally downward. That’s how I recall distinguishing a boy’s bike from a girl’s bike. When I outgrew the blue bike, I recall the red hand me down bicycle for girls that became mine. I would stand while increasing power in my pedaling speed and not have to worry about hitting the bar in between because I finally had a girl’s bicycle. I would adjust the seat a little higher than normal because I wanted to feel tall.
Biking was fun with my cousins and siblings! One cousin had a banana bike. I don’t recall what kind of bicycle I had but I do recall envying her bike that not only had a bell and a mirror to boast but tassels hanging in both handles. I had to make do with my hand me down bike that was slightly rusty.
I lived in a quiet village where I grew up. There were hardly any cars driving by early afternoons so it was a joy to speed bike up and down the streets, making sharp turns with only a tiny silver bell to signal my coming. Ring, ring! Whenever I came close to an intersection or a curb.
I remember biking down the sloping roads hands free. Weeeeeeee! Life then seemed so carefree and easy. I can’t imagine myself biking down that same road today hands free while singing weeeeeeee without getting hit by a speeding car!
Bicycles today are so complicated and modern with gears and all sorts of accessories to make one look like the Mercedes Benz of all bikes. I would be perfectly happy today with a vintage banana bike without gears, the oil from the chain of the wheels to stain my socks. I would struggle on an uphill climb and the tiny bell would do me no good in safety but this is how I remember my carefree bicycle days.