Happy Birthday From the Bike, Dad

Today is my Dad’s birthday. And I have given him a lot of thought today during my ride in to work, so let me start by asking everyone to say Happy Birthday to my Dad.

It’s funny when you start remembering back many, many years. I was remembering my Dad on the bike this morning and what I remembered first was not him, but his bike. I guess I was about 9 or 10, and I remember taking his bike from the garage so I could race around the block with the other kids during that summer. His bike was an old Raleigh, single speed, black and white. The bike was so big compared to everyone else’s that I remember being scared I would fall off it before I could get it rolling. We all rode little Stingrays or other similar bikes with banana seats, hung handle bars, coaster brakes, etc. One kid had a new, green, “10-Speed” Schwinn. I remember he was the one to beat that summer when we started racing around the block.

We all lined up on the road, looking at each other like real racers, gripping our bikes tight, and at some yell we all took off. I really had to kind of jump up onto the bike, but once there I took off. Big skinny tires turning over fast, I got a lot of leverage pulling on the handlebars and soon found I could pass that kid on the Schwinn.

All that summer, Dad’s bike became my bike. I used clothes pins to hold playing cards in the spokes so it sounded cool, I flipped the handlebars over to seem more like a racing bike, I would wax it with car turtle wax.

I was hooked on biking. I don’t think my Dad ever knew that I was using his bike. But little did he know how much he gave me that summer.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

2 replies

Comments are closed.