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My Blog

My Gift of a Two Wheeler

Good morning to all. I hope that your weekend went as well as expected.  Mine was spent completing projects.  One last step to go on my last rose today and I am finished.  I will post pictures by tomorrow.  Hope those of my readers who follow me will enjoy.  I am hoping to soon post some other works of my art. 
As for today's blog, I decided to travel back in time to when I was young and received my first two wheeler bicycle.  I remember my Schwinn bike.  I received it for a Communion present from my mother.  It was blue and white with those blue rubber handlebars with streamers of some sort that hung from them.  It was a dream come true...the only problem was...it was way too big for me.  It wasn't like we had the money to keep buying different bicycles back then to adjust to our size.  They were pretty much the standard.  I could definitely get on the bike with a bit of a struggle. 
I remember that growing up in the city of Chicago, we all had alleys and of course that it were we rode our bikes up and down. 
It was days of my trying to get high up on the seat and attempting to get there with enough time to peddle to get it going.  I finally mastered it!!  I was amazed at my accomplishment.  I rode the bike to the end of the alley...not don't get too excited, because that only meant it went 3 houses.  I was petrified of falling...even to this day...so when I got to the corner...it was either go out or across the street and attempt to turn around, or the alternative was to stop, get off the bike, turn it around and peddle the 3 houses back.  Well...need I tell you my choice was the latter?  I continued this pattern for a few more days and then attempted the long drive down to the opposite end of the alley...now that was really a trip.  I went just about an entire block.  Once again, at the end of the block, I was confronted with the same two options and never deviated from my choice. 
Now after about 2 weeks into mastering this monster of  wheels, I decided that I was ready to take flight.  I would turn at the end of the alley and proceed onto the street and around the block.  Courage!  It took courage...remember I was only 7 years old  with a bicycle that was twice my size!   
Well, that courageous day, I jumped up onto that padded seat and off I went..as I approached the end of the alley, I held my breath and entered the street with a turn...so far so good!  I was feeling proud of the accomplishment.  I peddled along down the street feeling great as I approached the end of the block and prepared for the next turn.  As I looked for cars, I carefully angled the bicycle to take the turn and down I went.  I slid off the bike right across the sewer cover, scraping myself quite badly.  I looked at the scrapes and the blood trickling down my body, picked up the bike and ran home crying.  Gram cleaned up the wounds that I had endured in that battle and even put away the monster that gave them to me. 
I have to tell you...it took perhaps a years before I could face that monster again.  I rode that bike again on occasion.  I would rather walk that ride a bicycle even to this very day.  I cannot help but look my nemesis in the eye and have flash backs of that day.   I am not sure where my fear of falling came from...but that bicycle sure enforced that fear! 
I encouraged my children to ride a bike, but their father needed to be the one to help them.  The only wheels I am comfortable with, happens to come with a car attached to them.  
And, wouldn't you know it...I would marry a man who loves cycling.  He cycled back and forth to work for years.  He even took a trip from where we lived on the North side of Chicago to St. Charles, Illinois.  Quite a feat in my opinion, and then back.  He often tells the story of how he and his friend got there and stopped for an ice cream at Colonial Ice Cream Shop and when he reached the girl at the register, he proceeded to tell her that they biked all the way from Chicago just for some of their ice cream.  He laughed about the look on the girls face when she heard him.  I can only imagine what went through her mind when she heard him! 
Well, I guess bicycling is never going to be my forte. Often, my husband has offered to buy me a bicycle and each time, I give him the death stare.  I marvel at those who ride them...it will just never be me.  I get intimidated even with an exercise bike! 
  The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. ~Sloan Wilson


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