Yesterday I spent an enjoyable afternoon talking with my friend about my experiences on a bicycle as part of her master’s thesis on human ecology…
When I was a wee little fiend my first ride was my tricycle and I remember how my friends and I would terrorize the neighbourhood on them, dreaming of the day we could move up to riding on two wheels.
When that time came I inherited my older brother’s CCM Mustang which was too big for me and he took it upon himself to teach me how to ride, this was accomplished by putting me on the bike, pushing me down a grassy hill, and laughing every time I fell off.
After the umpteenth time of rolling down the hill and getting a mouthful of dirt and some more grass stains on my clothes I made it to the bottom and just kept pedaling and have been pedalling ever since.
We did not have a lot of money and I don’t recall having as many toys as kids do today but my bicycle was my most cherished possession as with that I could be anything and go anywhere in my small hometown… it was my transmogrifier.
On Monday my bicycle may have become my horse as I rode the range and fought with cowboys when playing cowboys and indians was not so politically incorrect… I was always the Indian.
On Tuesday my bicycle might have been transformed into a motorcyle with the addition of some clothes pins and a few of my brother’s hockey cards… revenge is a dish served cold.
The next day I might have been flying in my spaceship… I grew up when the cowboys were being replaced with science fiction heroes as Star Trek was in it’s first run.
We took our bicycles off road, built trails through the bush, and destroyed more than a few by taking bigger and bigger jumps like Evel Knievel.
So here I am heading toward 48 and am still pedalling, have been riding more of late, and have been finding that seven year old I think lives inside all of us that thinks cycling is the best thing in the entire world.
Because it is.
Just watch out for little old ladies in Dodge Diplomats.