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Posts Tagged ‘Bike Riding’

Born to be Wild

The summer I was 11, my Dad bought me a Honda 90 bike. It was basically like a motorized bicycle. Hitting small rocks would cause it to wreck if you happened to be motating above 2.3 miles per hour.

The theory behind the purchase was that if I was on motorized wheels, I could zip around and help with errands on the farm. I was 11, after all. It was time I took on my fair share of the work.

As it turned out the motorized bicycle wasn’t good for much except being a punching block for my sister-in-law’s stupid goat. Every time I rode it past their house, the goat would shoot of nowhere, hit the bike and knock both it and me into the dust. Everyone seemed to think it was funny until the day my niece, who was 7 at the time, was riding with me and the goat knocked us down and sent her flying into the dirt. After that, the stupid goat was nowhere to be seen when I rode by.

The bike also provided some interesting entertainment when my Mom attempted to ride it. I won’t go into all the details, but I can still see her bun flying out behind her in the breeze, at least as much of a breeze that can be stirred at the high speed of 2.3 miles per hour.

As it was, Dad decided he wasn’t going to get enough work out of me with my motorized toy, so the very next summer, he traded it in on a Honda 110. Now we were talking business!

It was bright red, shiny with chrome and everything my 12-year-old heart could want. Freedom was painted all over it – and it was all mine! I loved that bike. It would go up to highway speeds, even in gravel (not that I ever attempted to do that). I rode it all over our farm and back again on a daily basis.

My Mom thought it would be fun to ride like the 90, but it had a clutch and actual gears that had to be shifted. Her one and only attempt at riding it ended with her crashing in a heap in the middle of our road just as the neighbors were driving by. I really felt bad for her. Even though I was laughing so hard at the time, I was no help at all in providing assistance. Now, you are probably thinking I was a deranged kid (and you are most likely partially correct) but had you seen the entire spectacle leading up to the crash, you’d have been laughing too, especially when I kept yelling “Grab the brake!” and “Put your feet down!”

Anyway, that bike and I were best friends every summer from the time I was 12 until I graduated from college, when in a moment of complete insanity I agreed to sell it. What was I thinking? There are times when I’d love to have that bike back again, even for an afternoon of joy riding.

As it was, I not only rode the bike to do chores, run errands, work at whatever project Dad directed, but I also rode it to my friend’s house, to our neighborhood store and it was my ticket to escape the confines of the house where Mom was determined to domesticate me. I could jump on my bike and ride off into fields, along the ditch banks or into the sagebrush, where the only sound I could hear was the song “Born to be Wild” playing in my head.

Gosh, I really miss that bike.

The bikeless joyrider

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