My childhood was marked with various highs and lows. Like any child, there were days that were full of happiness and days that had many disappointments. Nevertheless, I welcomed each day with excitement, knowing each new day brought new adventures.
The secret to this excitement was a bike that was given to me, by my dad, on my tenth birthday. The bike had an electric purple color that reflected the sunlight. It was perfect bike for my height and adorned with my favorite stickers. The bike had a small bell that sent a chime to warn people of my coming and going. I loved to ride my bike around my neighborhood every day.
My first bike brought me to exciting new places. Places I loved to tell my family all about. My mom would smile at me tenderly as I told her of all the fun places I went, but at the same time she would recite the safety measures that I needed to follow. Although my parents allowed me to go biking almost every day after school, and especially during the weekend, they always drilled me on how to be safe on the road. They promised that if I could prove I could be trusted to follow all the safety rules, dad would allow me to try the biking trails near our home. Up until that point, I was only allowed to go biking around the park and to places near our house.
Those biking privileges were enough for me. I loved the feel of the wind on my face and the excitement I had when riding my bike. My dad even bought me safety gear, all in my favorite color. Everyday I knew I was getting stronger because of my daily biking activity. At first, my legs were wobbly and unsure, practice made perfect and I soon became very confident on my bike.
My first bike allowed me to make new friends that I now have for life. It was a gloomy afternoon, and realizing that it might rain I decided to take a walk. I sat in a park with my back to a tree, a boy my age came up and began to tell me he has seen me riding my bike around the neighborhood. He complimented my bike and said he had a bike similar to mine but his was blue. He asked if I wanted to ride bikes with him, right away I knew we were going to be friends. From thereon, Jimmy became a constant biking companion and visitor in our house.
I am older now but my passion for riding bikes is still just as strong. I am glad that I am able to share the love I have for biking with my family. Riding our bikes together once a week helps our family bond and share a love of nature, adventure and well-being.
Cycling is a life-long compassion for many riders. What do you remember about your first bike?
Image courtesy of Jonny Hunter