I was eight years old when the folks gave me a bike for Christmas. Dad had one as a kid and used it to deliver Grit papers (a weekly paper back then, not the monthly mag it became later). I don’t remember if I’d been wanting a bike or not, but I suspect so from my expression in the photo. I didn’t have much luck learning to ride it in the beginning and set it aside for several months. Finally, I got determined to master it and eased into it by coasting downhill, something entirely too easy to do when you live on a hill in the country.
After I mastered it, I used it to ride to my paternal grandparents not far over the hill and around the bend, plus to my maternal grandparents a mile up the paved country road. Two sets of aunts and uncles lived in between, so I visited them too on occasion. It took me to a friend’s house a few times, but not often as he lived farther away. I went down the road a half-mile or so and up the hill to the church we used to attend. I also road around the housing development across the valley for entertainment. I didn’t go far most of the time, generally no more than a couple miles away, past my country grade school to another friend’s house.
It also took me down to the neighbor’s across the road when a boy moved in my own age. I used it less when I began riding their horses with them and nearly abandoned it at age 14 when I bought my first horse. When I began driving, it was relegated to the barn where it rusted rather badly.
Eventually, I gave it away or sold it cheaply, I don’t remember for which. Now that I’m old and live on a hilltop with about two miles of reasonably flat paved road, I wish I still had it, but then again, my knees might not take all that cycling these days. Regardless, for six years, it got a lot of use. Copyright 7/3/2020