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

This morning I went out to the deck to fill the suet feeder then I just stood there enjoying the morning. All of a sudden the smoke alarm in the hall went off. Animals ran: the cats low to the ground and the dog out the door into the yard. I went in and the house was filled with smoke, mostly the dining room and kitchen. I went looking and found the culprit: the toast blackened and on fire in my toaster oven. I had forgotten all about it as I don’t usually have anything but coffee in the morning. The house still has a charred smell.

Finally a deck day! I have to sweep and clean it a bit but that’s fine with me. When I’m done, I’m going to bring out my book and a cold drink and soak up the sun and the beauty of the day. It is the  best sort of day. The sun is bright, the breeze just enough and it’s already 70°. Gracie is asleep on the lounge. That’s a sure sign of a beautiful morning.

Once my brother and I rode our bicycles to East Boston to visit our grandparents. It meant riding along Route 1, a busy, busy highway, crossing it at a rotary with cars all over and then riding, still on Route 1, into the city. We knew the route because we used to go visit my grandparents many Sundays and every Christmas and Easter. When we knocked on his door, my grandfather opened it and looked around for my parents. He was shocked to find we’d ridden our bicycles. He called my mother, and she was horrified. She didn’t drive back then so she couldn’t pick us up, and my father was a salesman who could have been anywhere on his route so he couldn’t come get us. All my mother could do was tell us to ride home and be careful. My grandfather gave us some money for a snack and off we went.

It was just a ride home for us. For my mother it was waiting and looking out the door hoping she’d see us riding our bikes up the hill. My brother and I just couldn’t understand why she yelled when we got home. Her, “You could have been killed,” meant nothing  to us. We hadn’t been. We let her yell as that always seemed the best approach. When she was finished, we asked if we could go out bike riding. “No,” was all she said.

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

  1. Bob Says:

    When you are a kid your bike is your first taste of freedom to travel without parents. It opens up new horizons and new adventures. Of course asking your parents to allow you to bike across town would be answered with a resounding NO. It’s the same kind of question such as, “I’m going to spend the night with my boyfriend”, you are 16 and he is 20 and has his own apartment. Of course your parents will answer with another big fat NO.

    I am now in the process of giving my 15 year old son driving lessons. We are still in the early stages of maneuvering in empty parking lots. He wants to venture onto the freeway since he now knows how to drive in a straight line. I give my fatherly answer, NO.

    Will Rogers once said that it’s a good thing you send your kid to college when he is 18. That’s when he tells you, “Pop, how could you have lived so long and be so stupid?” When he returns home after four years he tells you, “Dad, you sure got smart while I was away at college”.

    Another partly sunny day with highs predicted in the low nineties. The only thing I miss about living in the Northeast is having four distinct seasons. In Texas we have two, hot and cold with a 30 second spring and fall in between.

    • Kat Says:

      You are so right about that sense of freedom. We could get anywhere all over town. We’d get our bikes, a difficult thing to do from where our cellar was as we had a turn, then we’d take off. My mother would ask where, and we’d just say riding. Most times we had no destination.

      I remeber my dad taking me out on the roads. He wasn’t the most patient of men.

      I never thought my Dad as stupid, just uninformed. He’d argue politics and use arguments which just weren’t true. I wish I had a computer in those days as I’d look it up and show him.

      It is still a beautiful day at 74°.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We reached 65 today and it was a really nice day even if showers did come and go most parts of the day. I’ve been busy re-potting and planting seedlings when ever I could between showers and walks with my dogs. I have to say I don’t work as fast as I used to 🙂 🙂

    Gothenburg is and has always been full with bicycle roads so there was no reaction when I first biked to my grandparents. But it took a lot of discussions before I was allowed to bike to my friends summer cottage. Big parts had to be biked on the big expressway but we took all smaller roads we could when there was any.

    After that trip I was allowed to bike where ever I wanted since I had showed I survived the trip 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      No rain here today either, but it stayed warmer, in the 70’s all day. I did the deck and it took a while and was a sweaty job, but it looks great now.

      We now have bike paths all over but didn’t when I was a kid. My brother used to bike to the next town to go fishing, and once in a while I’d go with him.

      My mother just hoped we didn’t stray too far. Only that one time she was wrong- we staryed far!

  3. Rowen Says:

    I remember many times thinking, “Why is she so upset? Like I would let anything happen? I’m not a fool!”

    • Kat Says:

      That’s exactly what we thought. We knew the way and we were careful so we just didn’t get the fuss.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    I’m thinking no kid would try that today but we all took long bike rides to somewheres back then. I do recall having a flat tire on the GW Parkway and thankfully my friend Mike had a patch kit. We spent most of our morning fixing my tire and pushing it uphill to a gas station to get air. It made for a lousy day but would have been much worse if Mike wasn’t with me. Funny how experiences like that stay with you. I haven’t been riding on a bike in over 20 years.

    • Kat Says:

      I hated it when my bike got a flat or when the chain came loose though that was pretty easy to fix.

      My dad would patch the tire, but I had to walk it home, no patch kit.

      I have a bike but haven’t riden it in about 10 years.

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t think I ever wandered off on my bike like that when I was a kid. Probably because there were too many interesting places in town to bike to. My parents would not have noticed as long as I was home by the time the street lights came on. 🙂
    I planted tomatoes, peppers, cukes, basil and oregano in containers this morning. Then I went to vote in a special Prop 2 1/2 thing and after that I went to my not so local yarn shop because I had a knitting needle emergency. All of that busy-ness has tuckered me out and the thought of riding a bicycle anywhere makes me want to lie down. Preferably with a tall beverage.
    I hope your deck day was very pleasant. 🙂

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We did the town all over the place, but every now and then we branched out. Bikes let us do that. Like your parents, mine wouldn’t have noticed unless we were late.

      The deck took a while and lots of energy to clean. The final step was using the hose to clean off the underneath parts of the chairs. After I was finished, I was hot and sweaty but the deck looked great. I took a shower and went outside to dry. It was hoy im yje sun; it was wonderful.

      I don’t have peppers plantes but I have everything else you mentioned. I love my new vegetable garden!

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


  6. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I used to love riding my bike, especially in the summer– that’s how I got around the island. Back then, we didn’t use helmets. I had bought my first good bike babysitting for the money. A year or so ago, I decided I might want to ride again, and bought a bike, not knowing the back wheel brakes didn’t work. The problem was, after I broke my knee, I found out I couldn’t ride anymore. My right leg would freeze, and not catch the peddle. I didn’t lock my bike in front of the apartment, and it was stolen. There was a perfectly good working bike on the other side of the apartments that wasn’t locked, but they chose my broken bike. Oh well.
    Lori and Lily

    • Kat Says:

      We didn’t use helmets later, but I think cars didn’t go as fast either. Did you buy the bike unseen?

      A frozen kneww would definitely make peddling difficult! I hope the thief was riding and tried to use his brakes! Maybe he got hurt-punished for his sin!!

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