I said this pretty much every single day for years “Mom, can I go ride my bike?” There is no toy I ever received that I every used as much as my bike.
Santa brought me my first two wheeler it was white with pink writing and pink details. It was called the “powder puff racer.” I did not get to ride it right away (it was back when the winters around here were actually cold). Once the weather got remotely warm enough for Grandma to let me go out side to ride I did and I never looked back.
I rode my bike after breakfast till lunch and then again till dinner and sometimes after dinner. It had a basket on the front and sometimes I would pack my lunch and bring it with me on my ride. Most of the time I would ride around the two blocks I was allowed to ride on without getting special permission. It is amazing how many different ways I could do that figure 8 around the neighborhood. Sometimes I would pretend I had errands to run and certain house and driveways (with people who worked all day) were the parking lots. Sounds completely dorky I know but in my mind I had created a little city and I was being an adult doing my thing.
On special days when the older kids were going on longer bike rides Grandma would let me go with Aunt N to the rose garden up the street or the stream that was a mile away. The rose garden was amazing, it was rows and rows of beautiful roses. I cannot wait to take you kids there. We used to pack picnic lunches and play hide and go seek there. We ALWAYS rode our bikes there. The stream we used to go to, well lets just say we drive by it every day now and I realize it was probably a place we should not have hung out it is kinda gross.
My love of bike riding continued when I was adult but not that way some adults ride. I mountain biked! You Dad started mountain biking again when we started dating and it was fun to ride with him for a while but eventually it was not. Your Dad thought he needed to train me in mountain biking and that kinda ruined it for me. Sometimes I would walk up a steep hill and he would want me to ride it again. Same thing when I fell he wanted me to try again. I got his point but sometimes I just did not want to.
The last time we rode was 10 years ago this week. I remember because it was our friends wedding anniversary and I remember mountain biking the weekend before it. This is how it went down, we went to park to ride and we met some guys that we did not know who were cool and rode with them for a bit. We down a black diamond like trail (for those who ski you get the reference, but for everyone else it was a very difficult and technical trail). I had been riding a lot at that point and I was holding my own with the boys pretty well. As we were going down a rocky single track I went right over my handle bars and smashed both my knee caps into a rock. I instantly started to cry, the pain was intense and for a few seconds I was sure my knee caps were shattered. I then collected myself and realized that while it hurt I was not actually injured. So I got back up and started riding.
About 5 minutes later as I headed back down the trail to catch up with the guys I did the exact same thing. This time I cut both my arms wide open and bruised my hip and side. There was dirt all over me. I was upset but at this point I was not getting back on my bike. I started walking my bike. At this point your Dad was worried I had gone the wrong way and he came back to find me. As soon as I saw him I burst into tears again and he got kinda freaked out because I looked pretty awful I was bleeding everywhere and covered in dirt. None of my injuries were actually that bad, we used the entire first aid kit we had and realized I just had tons of minor cuts. We met back up with the guys and rode for another hour because you Dad was worried I would never ride again if I did not ride more that day.
Even though my injuries were minor, I had so many that covered so much of my body I had a hard time sleeping for a few nights because my cuts hurt when touching the sheets. I went to work that Monday and I know for sure people thought something horrible had happened to me. I went shopping on my lunch hour to buy a dress that went to the floor to cover my leg injuries but it was August I could not cover all my other injuries. It made for a quite a story to a lot of people till I healed.
Now I do not ride my bike but it has much less to do with this story as it is we do not have time to spend the entire day going mountain biking. Your Dad used to go a lot until last summer but now the weekend are the time we get to spend together as a family.
When you kids get older I am sure that all four of us will go on amazing bike rides!
What was your favorite toy as a kid?
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