For many kids, having a bike means the ability to go play further than before, it means going faster, and reaching a milestone. I got my first bike, when i was 7. It was not a gift, i had to earn it.
I was raised in Montreal, and although the street we lived on was not super busy, it was still a city street, so kids had to ride their bike mostly on the street, which was not something my parents were too keen on. This means that i didn't get a bike in my preschool years, even one with training wheels.
Get good marks
My mom told me i could get a bike, if i managed to keep a 90% average for my final report card of the year. I was usually getting fairly high marks so it was an achievable goal.
She didn't get it
On the last day of school, i came home with my report card in hand. My mom was on the balcony, watching me walk. I didn't appear to be super happy, or in a hurry to show my report card to my mom so she thought that i had missed that mark.
What is the big deal?
When i came home, i showed my report card, and i had a final mark of 90.5%. Yup, i reached that goal, but why would i be excited? I was happy to have met that expectation, and i knew i was going to get a bike (my parents always followed their promises), so what is the big deal!?
Let's go shopping
I remember that we went shopping that evening, and i got my first bike. It was a CCM brand, and it was blue. I don't think i got training wheels for it, so i had to learn the hard way, but i learned.
I remember one time when i was starting to ride, when my dad holding the bike, and as we were on the walkway, our Italian neighbour decided it was her "private" property (which was not) and she stood in the middle of the way. My dad just whispered "Keep going", and i did. Without too much control over my bicycle, i ran the front wheel right between her legs. She sure was not happy, but my dad was laughing! If you don't know about our "Italian neighbours", check the post on Bad Neighbours. You can have a few chuckles.
How about you? Do you remember the day you got your first bike? Or maybe another toy you got that you had to earn? Share your stories in the comments below.
4 thoughts on “Remember when…? – Bike”
My sister was given a bike for her 14th birthday and I was promised one when I was 14 a couple of years later. However that year my sister was in the year level that went on an overseas trip, in this case to Switzerland, and my parents could not afford this trip and my bike. I was asked to sacrifice my own bike and share Mary’s, just so she could go on the trip, and I agreed. The problem was Mary was not one of the lucky few accepted to go on the trip, but did I get my bike after all? No, and I didn’t get to use Mary’s very often either!
What a bummer!
My first bike was a big old hand me down from my brother. This was before the fancy bikes they have now….this thing was a tank by comparison, no handbrakes (you had to pedal backwards to brake), no gears. I couldn’t balance on it at first, not even with training wheels, but this beast was so strongly built that I could sit behind the seat on the back fender. Because I was short, I couldn’t touch the ground from the seat, but I could if I sat on the fender (somehow I could still reach the handlebars which were longer and straighter back than what they have now) and that made me feel secure. At first I just sort of walked the bike along and then gradually moved my feet to the pedals and learned how to balance in what had to be the world’s most uncomfortable position. Eventually I was able to move to the seat (presumably because I grew). This was my first and last bike, by the way. That bike was so tough that it outlasted my interest in cycling.
Do you remember how old you were when you got that first bike?