My first bike

Not really my first bike, but it looked something like this

I got my first bike just before I was five. It was second hand and had a low slung top bar, a bit like a girl’s bike. I had a younger sister so I am sure my parents were thinking about who it would go to next even as they were buying it for me. I got the bike in the winter. I am not sure whether it was for Christmas or not. It may have been. But we lived in Toronto at the time so there was no riding until the snow was gone. I remember my Dad – who was an engineer and had never really lost the kid’s thrill of taking things to bits to see how they worked – spent the winter taking it apart, right down to individual bearings, and rebuilding and repainting it. I couldn’t wait for spring. That summer, at age 5, I started working on the bike myself. I took the handle bar grips off so that I could turn the handlebars around – so the handles were low slung and facing towards me, like a racer. It was cool. I took it out for a spin before I put the grips back on and of course tried to jump a ditch. Didn’t make it. The end of one bar ended up puncturing the inside of my right thigh very high up. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day at the hospital being stitched up. Dad returned the bars to their normal position and put the grips back on. He didn’t say a thing. I rode that bike for another two years before my sister got it.

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