When I was about seven, my parents took me to a garage sale. We lived on base (Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico) and I can remember that they were all excited about me getting a bike. Now this idea of a bike was not new to me – but the idea of a — USED bike was. My dad was telling me how unlike a new bike, where there were only a few colors to chose from at the store, we could go to the hardware store and pick from ALL the spray paint colors. This idea vaguely intrigued me… and in the end I picked out a teal blue glitter paint, that my dad carefully applied. My mom recovered the banana seat and put those fun streamers on the handle bars. It was beautiful! Until…
Like most parents they wanted me to be safe, and mind you this was WAY before the days of knee pads, elbow pads and head gear. They put two things on my bike to “help” keep me safe.
- A tall “Caution & Warning” orange colored flag that stuck up like a cellophane cocktail toothpick impaled in my banana seat.
- And a set of training wheels… the bane of the 2nd grade!
Nobody in my grade still used training wheels! I had even learned to ride two wheeled on my friend Gerard’s bike to get myself ready for the big day when I had my own bike to ride along the curbs of our neighborhood. He didn’t have training wheels… and I did fine on his bike! But my dad would not be dissuaded. I was going to have to build up my muscles – and when he thought I’d figured this balance thing out, he’d be happy to take them off.
Well that bike didn’t get ridden much. It sat propped against the side of our house or in the driveway – and I rode other kids bikes. The thing I wasn’t able to articulate as a kids was that something was really wrong with this bike – it took a lot of leg muscles to pump those peddles. I did fine on everybody else’ bike, I could have peddled to the moon and back on Gerard’s bike, but the second I got on that teal-banana seated-monster, I couldn’t get it to move. So I whined… and my daddy said, “Tough nuts kid – try harder!”
That year my mom’s parents came to visit. I secretly asked my Papa Bo if he would take my training wheels off. Being that he had no prior knowledge of the beef I was having with my dad about leg muscles and all, he obliged. And while he was at it, he noticed that the brakes on my bike were in a constant state of locked. With every peddle I was braking to beat the band – and in the process working up some killer leg muscles. So he fixed the brake problem – and I’m sure he told me about it… But I was so excited to finally have those goofy training wheels off! I hopped on the banana seat and WOOSH! I was off like a bullet from a gun! Funny thing was – I’d never had to apply the brakes before on that bike… so I wasn’t quite sure how to get this thing to stop… So… I ran into the back of my dad’s gold Buick!
I was in quite a bit of pain after that – but it was such a beautiful sight to see my daddy running toward me saying, “I had no idea you knew how to ride a bike! Now we’ve just got to teach you how to stop!”
I have no idea how to blog… This is all new to me. And like my bike, I love what sweet Lauren Pickle Day has done! My blog is shiny and new and green (and has Queen Anne’s Lace on it!)
My Friday morning prayer & study sisters (and my husband) have gently pushed & prodded me to write these stories (and oh so many more) down. So here you are sweet friends!
I have no idea where to start – but I have a wonderful set of training wheels! I have a heavenly Father who will guide my writing. I hope to look up and see God running toward my blog saying, “I knew you could blog… Now we’ve just got to teach you how to edit!”
More of you Lord, less of me!