“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”

Today is warm, not your lie on the deck and read sort of warmth, but it is 45°, a long way from yesterday’s 30°. I call this sort of day sweatshirt weather.

One of the fattest gray spawns of Satan I have ever seen drops by each day. I watch him try to manuever around the squirrel protected cage to get at the seeds inside. He holds on to the outside wires and pulls himself around the cage then hangs on from underneath. His last desperate attempt is to try to pry off the top, but he never gets at the seeds. He generally ends up on the deck rail then waddles away. I give a yell of triumph and thrust my arm into the air.

The only time I didn’t wish for snow at Christmas was the year I asked for a bike. The last thing I wanted was not being able to ride it so bare streets were essential. I remember everything about that Christmas. When I came downstairs, the first thing I saw was my bike in all its glory off to the side of the tree leaning on its kickstand. It was blue and had a bell attached to the handle bars and a metal basket in the front. The first thing I did was ring the bell. The next thing I did was try on my bike. I sat on the seat and put one foot on the pedal and balanced the bike with my other foot to the rug. The bike was the perfect height. Right then and there, in my pajamas on a cold Christmas morning, I wanted to take my bike outside and give it a test run. All of the other presents were forgotten. All I could see was that bike and me on the open road riding all over town. My parents said no, maybe later, and reminded me of my other presents so I got to unwrapping, but I kept glancing at that bike hoping later would come sooner.

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12 Comments on ““Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Cold and sunny here today and since there were no wind I’ve really enjoyed it. We’ll have temperatures dropping, then rizing, then dropping again for some time they say. Well as long as it doesn’t rain or we’ll get another storm I’m happy 🙂

    I never got a bike at christmas but getting a bike when ever was so great! I biukled everywhere from when i was twelve or so and loved that freedom. I always was so careful that first year, washing it, never just drop it on the ground and taking good care of it as good as I could. But that tended to change when the bike got older 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We have similar weather: cold then warmer then cold again. I think the rain is a couple of days away.

      It’s so true about a bike giving you freedom. We rode all over town on the weekends. We had to manuever our bikes into the cellar which wasn;t easy. The door was beside the bottom of the steps so you had to ove the bike in a crazy angle to put it away. Most winter days it got put away, not so much in the summer.

  2. Morpfy Says:

    I know this may be off the subject but this morning I was watching an old TV show,”Andy of Mayberry”. It made me think of ,what did Andy Griffin do before This TV show.
    Well i searched and found he was a singer. Here is a 1957 recording of his singing abilities.
    ——————–
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMZLk6XmB_Q&w=640&h=360]

    • katry Says:

      Moprfy,
      He was also a movie actor-he was the star of No Time for Sergeants.

      If you hadn’t told me, I’m not sure I’d recognize this as Andy. He has no accent here which I always associate with him. Thanks for this!!!!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    There is nothing better than your first bike. I thought of my first car and thought, yeah but it came with all those costs, insurance, put gas in it (.25 cents a gallon) and fix flat tires. The bike was like, oh, fix a flat tire . . . I can do that. But the joy of that first ride down the neighborhood streets gave me that feeling of independence. I love taking the hills and rolling down the other side at high speeds. Nothing better. And you are sooo right. Had to wait till after Mass to ride it.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      You’re right about the bike only needing a patch or a new tire and nothing much else, but there wasn’t any status with a bike. Only a car brought that.

      I so loved the freedom my bike gave me. My street was the best going down but a bit of a struggle going up. I remember when I biked all the way up that hill the first time. I was really proud.

      In the spring, I loved riding it to school.

  4. Bob Says:

    The year will end here in North Texas with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 60s which is also the forecast for tomorrow. While I was gone it rained enough to move the DFW area out of the severe drought range into just the plane old drought category.

    The big gift is always the one best remembered. I can recall every detail of getting my first bicycle for my birthday, but I can’t remember which one. My first and only electric train set came at Chanukah time in 1952. We didn’t run the train set around the menorah and I was always envious of my Christian friends who ran their trains around the Christmas tree. When I first saw those gifts everything else disappeared into oblivion. One Chanukah gift that was a surprise from my parents was my first camera. It was a twin lens reflex made by Ansco. Even black and white film was expensive to buy and to develop so taking good photos required lots of planning and a lot of forethought. Today I just shoot 100s of frames and still can’t fill up a two gigabyte SD card. Unfortunately, trying to capture the image from my mind’s eye onto a piece of silicone is not any easier than getting it onto a piece of celluloid more than 50 years ago.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      New Year’s Day will be in the mid 40’s, warm for this time of year. It is almost pleasant if there is no wind. I can’t remember ever having a drought condition here.

      I always wanted trains, but they were considered a boy’s gift, not a girl’s. I felt cheated. When I was an adult, my roommate gave me trains. I still have them-HO scale. I made a lot of buildings for them.

      That camera is a great gift. I do remember getting a developed roll of film back and being disappointed at how awful some of my pictures were. Love digital!

  5. john Says:

    Although it’s raining today, it’s been bike riding weather for the past few weeks. Snow at Christmas is highly over-rated.
    Bikes in our family were hand-me-downs, until my brother and I each made enough on our paper route’s Christmas tips to buy our own. I got a great, black one speed Schwinn, while my brother, who had a bigger route, got an ultra sophisticated three speed bike with chrome fenders. We were so proud of those bikes. But now,,, can’t even remember where they ended up.

    Kat,
    Yesterday I ‘relocated’ my 6th Spawn of Satan. He made the journey to a corn field across the river and 7 miles out of town. Hopefully, he didn’t take note of the landmarks on the way there. I’d hate to see him come back.

    • katry Says:

      John,
      I live near the bike trail, and I haven’t seen bikes in a few weeks. I guess we’re on a winter hiatus.

      I am the oldest so no hand-me-down bike. My brother was next and the only boy so he always got a new one too. I don’t remember about my sisters but I don’t think they were travelers the way my brother and I were.

      That spawn is probably on the road with his thumb out. I have two I’d love to see relocate: one os grey and the other red. It’s the red one I’d choose to go first. They are the nastiest of spawns.

  6. Hedley Says:

    My sister and I were talking about those first bikes. They are bought on HP through the Littlewoods catalogue and lived in the loft of my grandparents bungalow until that magical morning.
    I don’t know how the two bikes moved from Ashtead to Leatherhead but they did, and were downstairs on that magical morning. Mark and Gavin next door also got bikes. We lived on a large circular residential island, (aka the island) and around and around we went for hour after hour giddy with the speed, racing and the freedom.
    We cleaned them, they rusted especially the chrome wheels, we loved them.
    Today I treasure the 15 year old Cannondale that I use when I ride with big Rick. My sister does mind blowing distance rides..John OGroats to Landsend, London to the South of France, you get the picture.
    We loved those first bikes. They were gifts from Mum and Dad and not Father Christmas. We loved them

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      My bike, too, was a gift from my parents as I was 9 or 10 and knew the secret of Santa Claus. The bike must have been hidden next door as it wasn’t anywhere in the house or one of us would have seen it. I remember it was blue with white around the fenders.

      You and your sister share a wonderful Christmas memory. I think for eall of us the first bike becomes etched in our memories. They are always the special bike, the one which gave us the first taste of freedom.


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