First Wheels!

In honor of Father’s Day, here is an early memory of my Dad. This is how I remember it, which of course, may or may not be as my Dad does.

My First Wheels

As my Dad proudly came around the house with my first set of wheels, my elation quickly turned to disappointment. I had hoped for a brand new bicycle, instead he pushed along an obviously well used CCM bike.

The color of the bike was the biggest disappointment.  Dried blood reddish-brown was not an attractive color in my opinion. The seat was tattered and well-worn.  Uncertain if it was part of his original plan, or if he sensed my disappointment, my Dad quickly said, “I will paint the bike and get a new seat for it. It will look like brand-new!” I had my doubts, but tried to appear excited as I did not want to hurt my Dad’s feelings.

Within the week my Dad had made good on his promise. He painted the bike a beautiful medium Wedgewood blue color, and installed a new white seat. Without consulting me, he had accessorized the bike with a metal wire basket on the front.  Dad lowered the seat and handlebars as low as they could go, so I could begin my bike riding lessons up and down the sidewalk on our block. At first Dad helped steady the back of the bike holding on to the rear of the seat, but soon as I was off on my own, my Dad hollering instructions from behind me.

After hitting the neighbour’s concrete retaining wall a few times as I swerved back and forth, I learned to keep my hands steady on the handlebars and eyes focused straight ahead. A couple more days of picking myself up off the cement sidewalk to get band-aids on my already scabby knees and I was a pro!

Getting that bicycle was the beginning of independence and freedom for me! Living in a small town certainly had its advantages, as I was soon allowed to ride my bike all about town, including to the public library every Saturday. I had fears I would be subject to ridicule by the neighbour kids for having a basket on my bike, however once I realized how many Nancy Drew library books I could fit in the basket I did not care.

167Love you Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

19 thoughts on “First Wheels!

  1. I can easily envision a young You peddling with a serious stack of books in that basket and a twinkle of excitement in your eye for the anticipation of those stories! 🙂

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    • At writers group this week I admitted that I LOVED Nancy Drew books when I was kid, that I loved Nancy Drew, and in fact wanted to be Nancy Drew! They all laughed at me and said they could see that….hmmmm…now I am pondering why! 😉

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      • Love your work and it’s sweet you sharing all this with us. I just wish I wasn’t so bad at cycling ha! I hope you enjoy my work equally and follow. Would love to keep in touch

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  2. Thanks for the memory Suzanne… as I remember it did not take long for you to master the art of bike riding… and then after riding with Uncle Ron on his Hondo 90 bike, I was worried that I might have to find a “good used” ONE IN THE FUTURE! dAD

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  3. Such a lovely childhood memory. I ran into a telephone pole on my first time on a hand-me-down bicycle. I still remember the impact – more than just a bandage! I can also relate to the fondness for Nancy Drew books as a youngster. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking “Not the Yellow Ribbon I’d Expected”. I’ll check back for more of your stories, thanks.

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  4. I think I had a basket. I know my bike was blue. I haven’t got a single memory of my dad helping me learn, though I knew he did. My most vivid bike-riding memory is when I looked to the side to talk to a friend and rammed into the back of a parked car. Sigh.

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  5. I had the privilege of helping my granddaughter, Leslie, learn to ride her bike. This coming summer will be Jayme’s turn. It is so much easier to learn to ride in town than on the gravel roads out at their farm. Really enjoyed the writing of this memory even though I didn’t know you then, I can visualize you all including Uncle Ron and his motorcycle. Annalee.

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    • Annalee, thanks for stopping by to read my blog! I have lots of good memories of Uncle Ron, including riding on his motorcycle. We always had lots of fun. Glad to hear you are making bike riding memories with your grandkids. 🙂

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  6. Ah, blood red, tattered saddle! That was what I had too. The Beast Bike! They must have shipped it to you from my little corner of England! Mum taught me; while dad played rugby – I remember careering off the path down a grassy bank, Mum hollering ‘brake’ and me suddenly realising I could control the handlebars and just go I still tingle at that thought of, as you say, freedom. Lovely to pick up and old post and jog the memories!

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  7. Wow! I can’t remember learning to ride at all! What fantastic memories you have – I guess it maybe strengthened by that disappointment with the rust brown bike and battered saddle! I had a few presents like that or that had perhaps been bought with green shield stamps! (Won’t comment about this on my own blog for fear I’m caught by Mum!)

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  8. Pingback: Bite Size Peloton | Lisa Reiter - Sharing the Story

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