Friday, August 01, 2008

easy as riding a bike


illustration for J.McLaughlin -Fall 07 Mailer "Mark your calendar"

Growing up one of seven, one of my favorite things in the world was riding our bikes or as we would like to say "tearing up the neighborhood."  Kentucky for the most part is flat compared to where I live now so it was made for riding horses and bikes.  A nice flat terrain with peaks and valleys not hills and dales like here.

illustration of bike in front of the Vogue Theater
One of my memories was riding to "Roppels" market for a candy bar, or riding to the "Vogue" theatre in St. Matthews to see what was showing.  At around 7 years young, I asked my Mom for 10 cents and proceeded to put on my blue flowered parka and rode to Roppels.
Coming back, crossing Lexington Road (the busiest street) then coming to the "triangle" and getting into the "waving of, no, you go, back and forth"  I finally went and was hit by a car.  The man drove me home and after he left, I took off my parka and had to go to the hospital for 13 stitches in my head.  My brothers say they are convinced that was the beginning of my bike ride catastrophes.

illustration of the banana bike
Then in 3rd grade, I had a crush on "Boland"  (last name with-held to protect the innocent.) Boland had a "Banana" bike and I wanted in the worst way to ride his bike.  So one day he kindly let me and we all were "tearing up the neighborhood" and I did the "stand-up on the pedal" thing and came crashing down on my you know what.  (My flower!)  Ouch.  Went home and back in those days, the Dr. came to my house.  


from the multi-tasker, bike of erin wasson, photo from the selby 
Many bike accidents for me, however, I still get back on and ride.  I guess we all have our own scars to show.  How many of you have bikes and where do you keep them?  This bike is a city bike, brought inside, like a piece of furniture.  May each of you have an easy weekend, one of bike rides and warm memories.


18 comments:

Be the change..... said...

I had a bike but I had to get rid of it finally, storage was hard in the city and my neighborhood is too trafficy -not very bike friendly :-(

Janet said...

Living in a suburb of Los Angeles, we keep the bikes in the garage and ride them around the tract like all of the other drones. Pretty boring.

My Notting Hill said...

Where I grew up there were 2 parallel roads - separated by about 10 feet. We dubbed the one that was the old County road and not used anymore the Old Road. As kids we used to ride down that hilly road, no hands, etc. One day we decided to hold our own "bike Olympics" Things escalated until we were buzzing down the road STANDING on our banana seats holding onto the handles with one hand. (so fast that the bike frame/front wheel would wobble.) To earn extra points from the "judges" I tried momentarily to do that with no hands - not a good move! My Dad had to pick the embedded gravel out of my knee with tweezers. Needless to say I did not take home the gold medal.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, we are definitely bike riders. We keep them in our garden shed and are fortunate to live in an old, neighborhood with wonderful streets made for bikes! If we're more adventurous, we hit a bike trail near our home - 94 miles of flat, shady trails through the trees! Heaven.

But, I don't mean to imply we go the entire length!

Ann said...

Oh I heart those charming illustrations.
I love riding my bike ... me and my brother have to learn riding a bike without our Mom's permission and knowledge. Her brother died riding a bike and she still has trauma about bikes but as little kids, me and my bro did not want to be the only ones among our peers to be left out when they are having a bike tour.

littlebyRD said...

My bike is in the garage, collecting dust. Now if I had a really cute one like the last photo things might be different!

Mary Jo Matsumoto said...

oh, i love all your bike stories and illustrations! here's my bike:
http://www.trustyourstyle.com/2008/03/cruising-into-april.html
completely inappropriate for a grown woman but i do love it!

simply seleta said...

What would childhood have been like without my favorite 10 speed. Mississippi, like Kentucky was very conducive to easy riding. Lots of fun memories riding around the same block for hours at a time.
Fast forward twenty years, Atlanta days were not so much that way. Oh, the hills. Made biking impossible with small tikes.

Now that we're at the beach, our bikes are just as important to us as our cars. We ride everywhere! Our 2 and 3 year old can easily ride about 3 miles. Can you believe it? They're such little troopers.

Having an Electra Amsterdam makes it all worth the ride. And it's a major upgrade from the silver 10-speed I used to cruise around in.

Such a happy post!

vana chupp said...

love the illustrations...my bike got stolen...after been parked outside our architectural studio for 2 months...it was like begging someone to take it...sigh

Diane said...

I love bikes-- I love my bike! My husband and I are staying at our friends home on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. They have left their bikes for us to ride and I must say that to ride along the ocean is the best ever.

CC said...

A happy post, indeed! Oh, how you brought back childhood memories for me of my purple bike with it's groovy banana seat!!! :)

Marnie said...

love to bike too - same problem as you - not as easy to ride nowadays because of the narrow and windy roads in my neck of the woods - it was so easy to ride as a kid - every night after supper we would hop on our bikes and spin around the streets or play kickball in the street, or play our own game of hide and seek that we named "beckon" - fireflies - ice cream truck- nice memories on this rainy afternoon

Fifi Flowers said...

Love your bike post!
Lots of good memories crusing around on my childhood bike... I rode everywhere alone... only child here... and now when my kids ask to ride their bikes somewhere alone I tell them no.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Oh, by now you know I love me some bike! :-) I love your "study of cycles." What great illustrations!

My current "knock around" bike is one I got last year for $45 -- a 1957 Raleigh with wicker basket and big ol' bell. I took pics for my blog last week of it with sunflowers (fresh from the farmers market) and parked at the beach. And the best part? I don't have to pay $4.00 a gallon for gas to get where I'm going. ;-)

enc said...

You have such a great sensitivity and command for illustrating the linear qualities of these bikes. I'm in love with them all.

Kelly said...

I think it's interesting that you say you think KY is flat. I just found your blog a few minutes ago, so I don't know where you live now, but KY seems all hills to me! It sounds like you were from Louisville, though - I went to college there, and it does seem flatter than most of the rest of the state.

Style Court said...

Sorry about your mishaps but I love your story telling and the illustrations -- adore the muffler one too :)

Alkemie said...

Patricia, the bicycle illustrations are wonderful! It's neat that riding a bike is something you never forget once you learn it.