The Bike… by JoAnn


When I was around 6 or 7 years old, my sister got a new bicycle for her birthday. It was the 1960’s, and getting a new bicycle was every kid’s dream. Jeanie’s new bike was a beautiful shade of blue with white stripes. She named it “Big Blue”.

Big Blue was so big compared to my oversized tricycle. I was jealous of 2 things. One, Jeanie had a brand new bicycle, and 2, she was tall enough to ride a big bike. I felt like a baby for still riding a trike.

I guess I must have voiced my unhappiness to my parents because the next thing I knew, my dad was taking me to the Sears store downtown to look at bicycles. I remember thinking there was no way they would have one I could ride. I am not an athletic child like my older sister. I am naturally very short for my age, and she is tall. She can do everything better than me physically. Having short legs really was a bummer.

I was overwhelmed when we walked into the Sears area, where all the new bikes were lined up. They were in order by size. Much to my surprise, they had small bikes. Maybe there was hope for me. My dad coaxed me into trying out a few. There were several that were the perfect size for a short girl like me. One in particular caught my eye. It was a beautiful shade of purple, and the padded seat was a pearl white with flecks of glitter in the vinyl. It was the most exquisite thing I had ever seen. I told my daddy that was the one! I was in love.

I vaguely remember my dad saying something about the price of my dream bicycle. Perhaps I had great taste, but maybe expensive taste as well. I remember him trying to change my mind. But I began to cry, as the purple bike was the only one that interested me. He said he would do what he could but couldn’t promise me. We left the Sears store.

Somehow, that gorgeous purple bicycle did become mine. I remember it showing up at the house one day. I was overjoyed. Now, I can only imagine what my parents must have sacrificed for me to have that particular bicycle. I had my very own big girl’s bike, complete with training wheels. Yes, it was half the size of my sister’s, but it fit me perfectly! It took a while for me to get the hang of riding it, with the training wheels and then without. But once I got the hang of it, I loved it.

I continued to enjoy bike riding for the rest of my childhood. I graduated from the small bicycle to a more oversized 70s style, complete with the infamous “Banana” seat and big handlebars. Then, in junior high, I was finally tall enough for a bicycle like my sister Jeanie. Although Daddy had to make the seat as low as it could go and even use a hack saw on that pole the seat sat on to make it lower, I could ride as well as my big sister.

It has been 35 years or more since I have ridden a bicycle. I often think of how much I used to enjoy it and regret that I didn’t keep that hobby going in my life. It’s great exercise, and I remember the calm feeling of freedom it gave me when riding. I made sure all of my children learned to ride and had their own dream bikes when they were growing up. One daughter even rode a bike to work for a while.

If I were to buy myself a bicycle now, I’d feel like that little girl in Sears with her daddy again. That gives me a big smile, so I have decided to put bike riding on my “Bucket List .”Before my time has passed, I want to capture the feeling of riding a bike again. I plan to save up for a bicycle and attempt to ride. They say once you learn, you never forget! My brain may remember, but someone may have to remind my body after this long. Wish me luck.


  1. Tommy on March 4, 2024 at 8:13 pm

    Ahh, we all have bike riding stories to tell, we’re just not able to tell about it as well!

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