To the editor:
It was green and white with a horn button on the side of the tank. It even had a headlight on the front fender. And mine had a luggage carriage rack on the back and a chain guard that many bikes didn’t have.
The kids who didn’t have the guard had to put a clip on their pants leg so their pants wouldn’t get caught and cause a lot of trouble.
Yes, I’m talking about my first bicycle. No, not the little bitty bike with training wheels, nor the mid-sized bike, it was the full-blown bike and I was a little kid.
How does one learn to ride it? With a lot of Band-Aids that’s how.
No, I didn’t have a helmet or knee and elbow pads; I just had skin that got bloody with a lot of falls.
I wasn’t as lucky as the town kids who had straight sidewalks to learn on. I had our gravel driveway that was very short just before it dropped down to Highway 41. If you would have gone down that, it would have taken more than Band-Aids to fix you up.
Yes, I did learn to ride. Isn’t there a saying about learning by “hard knocks?” This was one of those.
Riding a bike gave you freedom and pride. I had squirrel tails fastened to the handle grips and a playing card clipped to the frame, so the spokes of the wheel gave that motorcycle roar. Well, sort of.
I “toted” my friends who didn’t have a bike, like “Peewee” Jones who died after coming home from Korea. Bikes made friends that last a lifetime.
I don’t remember what happen to my first bike; the scars are all healed up but the memories remain.