My first bike, like my first love, or first kiss, one never forgets. I did not have much growing up, as for store bought items. But our yard, the fields, river bottom, and Crooks Street was like a lost land full of treasures. We used to take spoke-less bicycle rims and roll them down Crooks Street with clothes hangers. All of our stuff, the green house, the front and back yard, the chicken, rabbit, pig, pigeon and dog pens where raggedy. The backyard, and dry soft river bottom sands where littered with junk; plank and plywood, old railroad track logs, plastics, oil drums, old washing machines, car rims and tires, and worn out gutted old cars. There were assorted sized planks and bits of wood piled in disarray for building fires in big oil drums.
Our three and a half bedroom house, plus the two trailers were all tattered. The wooden fence around the front yard holey and non existent in some places no board at all. All was shabby, but beautiful and fertile for my imagination. I invented my own adventures and we made our own toys. I remember lying down on tiny sand dunes on the side of our house next to a shady tree and watched a sand monster spit dust up from tiny reversed pyramid sand pits causing the fleeing ants to slip and sink to the bottom and disappear. I watched the ant monsters endlessly and had my desert and animals to run in and with.
I was six or seven years old that Christmas morning when I received my first bicycle. A cherry red one speed miniature bike, no training wheels. Stingray bikes weren't out yet. I grabbed it and rushed outside to Crooks Street and learned to ride on the fly, by trial and error. My bike was my tractor, my chariot and my flying machine. I rode into trees, fences and got caught in soft river bottom sands.
It took me a while to learn how to use the brakes. I crashed into everything I can think of, and I jumped back up on my bike, smiling. I wonder what happened to that bicycle. Do you have a First bike story to share?
© Spoon Jackson