Nana has tales to tell, and thoughts to share.

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.  ~John F. Kennedy

Like most youngsters, I treasured my childhood bicycles.   Having a bike was a rite of passage for a child.  Having a bike meant independence and freedom.  It meant that Mom and Dad trusted you enough to let you wander…as far as the sidewalk .

I remember my first 2-wheeler bicycle.  It was a 20 inch, silver and red Schwinn bicycle.  With training wheels.  It was the bike I learned to ride, it was the bike from which I explored our neighborhood, it was the bike that sent me to the ER for my first set of stitches!  Oh, I loved that bike!

As time went by, I began to outgrown that trusty bike.  Since my younger sister was ‘nipping at my heels’; my parents presented me with a new bike – a 24 inch pink and white Schwinn.  With a basket.  My younger sister got my red and silver friend.  I wasn’t too sure about letting her have my bike, but Mom was a firm believer in passing things down the line.  After a visit to the fair one year, our bicycles miraculously turned into horses.  Occasionally we would convert to motorcycles using a clothes pin and a playing card stuck in the spokes.  Cool sound.  And always we rode our bike around the neighborhood.

Of course, I continued to grow, as most kids do, and the day came that I received my ‘grown up’  bike.  A 26 inch, blue Schwinn.  By that time, our family had moved to a house out in the country, so now there were dirt roads to explore, and exotic places to scout out.

When I went away to college, I needed a new bike once again.  Since there were a few big hills around the college, I felt a geared bike was in order.  But only 3 gears.  I didn’t want to over do it.  This bike was red, and not a Schwinn.  And I never really enjoyed it.  I kept it for years, but I never really made use of it.  Finally I gave it away.  I had figured out that the bike was too big for me.

There were other bikes throughout the years, 21 speed, mountain bikes, new bikes, second-hand bikes, but I never did experience the same thrill as a child riding my Schwinn.  Why did I have so much trouble with bike riding?  Painful shoulders, knees and seat.  Not enough energy to make it up the hill. Fibromyalgia?  Old age?  I was ready to give it all up.

When Hubby and I moved to our apartment in Small Town, USA,  I thought again about bicycles.  My job was only 10 blocks away.  If I had a bike that fit…  So we began the search.  We went to a real bike shop so the professionals could ‘fit’ me with the right bike.  Nothing fit, and everything was too expensive.  In frustration I told Hubby, “Forget it.  I’m going to Wal-Mart and try out some kids’ bikes.”  So we did.  And I found out why I never enjoyed bike riding like I did as a kid.  It was the bikes!  The frames, the wheels, the height, the length, the seats, the gears, the brakes…they were all different from my childhood bikes.

So now, once again, I am the proud owner of a bike that I can ride all over town.  Not a grown up bike, but one that fits me.  No gears, no hand brakes, no painful seat.  Just a plain old coaster brake – one speed – 24 inch- fat seat- purple bike from Wal-Mart.  I love it!

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Comments on: "A Bicycle Built for Me" (2)

  1. I didn’t see any mention in here about your contemplation of a 3 wheel bike. Hmmmm.

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