“One of the most important days of my life, was when I learned to ride a bicycle.”

The sky is blue and the sun is shining, a pretty day. It was cloudy when I first woke up so I stayed in bed a while, but Henry was impatient so I was forced to get up and let him outside. He is now staying away from me as I took his collar off to add his new name tag and he is not happy. He keeps eyeing the couch but doesn’t get on it, too close to me. I haven’t dared to put on his new halter. He’d run away from home.

I only thing on my dance card today is the bird feeders. They need to be filled. I bought a bag of sunflower seeds the other day so I’m all set.

When I was a kid, a day like today meant exploring on my bike. I knew all the best places  in my town. The dairy farm was a bit far from my house but well worth the pedaling. The cows were usually in the pasture. They were black and white. Much later I found out they were Holsteins. This time of year there was mud all over the ground outside the barn. It was churned and filled with hoof prints. The cows wandered through.

Sometimes I’d go to the zoo. It was small and filled with cages and fenced in hills for the deer. The draw was the elephant. I even got to feed it inside its enclosure. I had befriended one of the zoo workers, and I got to feed the animals. I’d open the backs of the cages and put their food inside. I always felt special feeding the animals.

I used go to the golf course to find errant golf balls. A few were across the street from the course but most were in the trees and the water. I liked the way golf balls bounced, and I liked the sound they made when I bounced them on the road.

Sometimes I’d bring my lunch, usually a sandwich, mostly a bologna sandwich, and Oreo cookies for dessert. I’d stop at the town hall and sit on the benches. I’d watch people walking uptown to shop. I always hoped for a fire alarm so I could watch the engines barrel down the street with lights blinking and siren blowing. I never thought about there actually being a fire. I just wanted the drama.

I’d get home in the late afternoon. My mother would ask where I’d been. I always answered just around.

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12 Comments on ““One of the most important days of my life, was when I learned to ride a bicycle.””

  1. Bob Says:

    My first bike had training wheels and I was afraid to have my dad remove them. I was probably six years old. When my father removed them he held on to the bike seat with his hand as he ran along side the bike as I learned to balance. One run I looked back and he was not there and I had learned how to ride. Of course mounting and dismounting look some extra practice. Once I mastered the bike it provided the freedom that you described.

    Today is gorgeous with sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 80s. This April has been particularly dry and draught looms ahead if we have a dry May.

  2. katry Says:

    Bob,
    I didn’t know anyone who had a bike with training wheels. I jumped on the two wheels and hoped my mother would never let go. She did and, like you, I had learned to ride. I was thrilled. I used to jump off the bike until I figured out how to dismount safely. Getting on the bike was far easier.

    We have had so much rain this month, often inches in a single storm. I doubt they’ll be a drought down here. We escaped it last summer while the rest of the state didn’t.

    It is 60˚right now, and I find that quite comfortable.

  3. olof1 Says:

    I’m afraid that Albin never would come close to me again if I tried a halter, he’s angry enough about the harness 🙂 🙂 Both Nova and Sune comes to me so I can put on the harness so we can go out on a walk but I must lift Albin to get it on him. At least he doesn’t hate the harness as much as he hates his jacket though 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Yes the freedom one had with the bike! I went everywhere with it even across town to grandma or outside town to our summer cottage. No one was worried that something would happen as long as one promised to follow the traffic lights and to stay on the bike paths and we had lots of those already back then in Gothenburg.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I am waiting a while before I put it on him. Gracie wore one all the time, and there was never a problem. The first one I put on him got chewed off. Luckily it had a lifetime guarantee so I got another. We’ll see what happens.

      Once my brother and I biked to my grandparent’s house. It was quite a distance and on a busy highway. My mother freaked when my grandfather called her.

      Enjoy the day!!

  4. Hedley Says:

    My Cannondale sits in the basement gathering dust. The absence of Big Rick last year meant it wasn’t used more my super duper biking shirt. I really should get some resolve, get the bike serviced and hit the pavement. It has to be extremely unlikely that BR and I will resume our lake circumnavigation and I need to do something with the bike

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I have a bike in the cellar I used to ride. I did the cape rail trail to Wellfleet or Orleans but haven’t ridden the bike in years. I did enjoy the ride.

      It is just so much easier to ride with others.

      • Hedley Says:

        Right, following my inert response, I dragged the bike out of the basement and took it down to the Rochester Bike Shop. After a general look see I am changing everything from the seat to the gear shifters. New tires, gear box, it is going to be game ready.

        With or without big Rick I will be able to motor

      • katry Says:

        I am so proud of your industry. I am also envious.

        Enjoy riding again!!

  5. Birgit Says:

    Next bike ride tomorrow. Once a month we visit a flea market which has new and used goods, fruit and vegetables, the best cheese in town, bike spare parts and more. Rain or sun, it’s faster to go by bike than to use public transport.

    Yesterday I saw one of our shy squirrels at the bird feeder which is quite close to the house. It was a nice surprise and I’m glad they are still around. I’ll need more sunflower seeds now, they must be desperate since the little park with big old trees next to our garden is unfortunately gone now. Different squirrel worlds.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I love flea markets but haven’t been to one in a long while. I like the sound of yours. There are so many tings to see. I love old things.

      Around here are so many squirrels I wish I could share. Most of my feeders are anti-squirrel as they were finishing all the seed. I do ave a mixed seed I throw on the ground for the doves as they are ground feeders. I think the squirrels help themselves.

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I had a bike with training wheels but I don’t remember who removed them. I was about 5 years old and my neighbor Jackie was the one who taught me to ride a two wheeler. He kept telling me I had to ride away from the curb but I wouldn’t. Of course I’d hit the curb and fall over. In frustration, he suggested a break and offered me a stick of Dentyne gum. It must have been magic Dentyne gum because, after chewing it for a little bit, I was able to ride my bike away from the curb and up and down the street. Imagine. 😀
    After that, I got used boys bikes because they would go to my younger brothers afterwards. I particularly remember two huge, heavy bikes that we all needed wooden pedal blocks to ride. They each had two big shock absorber springs on the front fork. They were like riding a moose. 😀
    Finally, after surviving several boys bikes, I was given a brand new step through English Raleigh with hand brakes. Aaah! A bike that was purchased just for me and without considering that it would have to go to the brothers later on. Heaven.

    Yesterday was beautiful. I did laundry by which I mean I sat outside the laundry room door sunning myself in the yard while the dogs played in the grass. When the washer was done, I threw the clothes into the dryer and continued “working”. 😀

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      I remember my brother had one of those boy bikes with a really thick bar. It was a used one my parents found somewhere. It was really tall. I used it every now and then.

      My bike was a Christmas present, and I was so very happy there was no snow that year. I remember my first English Raleigh as well. It had three speeds. It was black.

      Yesterday was beautiful here too. It wasn’t all that warm but it was nice, no wind. I did absolutely nothing constructive.

      have a great Sunday!


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