Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Bike

Mark and I are contemplating doing a 318 mile bike ride in October, from Pittsburg to Georgetown. It'll be on rails-to-trails paths. Up in Pittsburg we will ride the Allegheny Passage down to Cumberland, Md. From there we will pick up the C&O Canal trail. (I've done the 185 mile C&O trip a couple of times, and that's where I discovered this sort of thing is actually do-able for me.)

So, I'm in the market for a new "cross" bike. It's my 50th birthday present to myself.

The photo above was on my 6th birthday. July 19, 1963. We had just moved into this house near West Point, Va. from Richmond. It was so hot on this day that the top layer of my birthday cake slid off.

I loved this bike. My first two wheeler. It was a red Western Flyer with streamers on the handlebar grips. My loving, yet short on patience, Dad tried teaching me to ride, but evidently, I didn't pick it up as quickly as he would have liked. He threatened to take it back to the store because I wasn't "trying hard enough." (Geez, the things that will cement themselves to a kid's brain.)

I do remember when I finally did get my momentum going on our 1/2 mile dirt road. Not knowing how to engage the brakes, I remember the panic of seeing the drop off of the sea wall at the edge of the river. Right before plunging in, I guess instinct took over and I fell off the bike. I probably cried like a six year old girl, but I think I was pretty dog goned proud too.

I must have outgrown the bike quickly. My next birthday also brought a new bike with it, which I rode for several years. However, memories of this first bike remind me of a dear old friend.


BritGal' Sarah said...

Whoa I am seriously impressed, a 300+ mile bike trip. I am lucky if I can get myself a mile downtown and back on!

stephanie levy said...

hi - i read your comment on swallowfield about my work - thanks so much!

i taught art in an elementary school here in Germany for two years way back when - so i can completely relate to your blog!

love the photo, somehow the older ones have so much character, don't they?

Jackie said...

Oh that first bike, mine was purple and had a sparkly banana seat! The 300 mile ride sounds fun! Brian and I ride a rails to trails by the Missouri river. We did a 150 mile ride. My only requirement is that we stay at a hotel or B & B. No camping, I require a nice hot shower after a day on the bike!