Prized possession

Prized possession [1]

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

When I was 7 or 8, my mother took me with her to visit a friend of hers, who happened to be the mom of one of my classmates. During the visit, an orange bike was in the garage. One of its training wheels was missing and there were several hints of previous nasty falls. My mom told me to check it out, but because I was shy and embarrassed that I wanted the bike so much, it took several encouraging words before I actually went up to it.

After getting a snack and listening to the adults talk, my mom stood up and asked me if I liked the bike. I said yes. With a mischievous smile she said we’re taking it home because she had already bought it for me.

I loved that bike. It was both a ticket to freedom and a fun means to get from point A to point B. It was summer when I first got it and you could just imagine what sort of shenanigans and nasty falls I had gotten into. I remember pedaling furiously toward an incline [2], only to miss it by a few inches, hit the gutter, and fly over the bike and into the sidewalk.

I used it for my first ‘job’ delivering newspapers around the neighborhood.[3] I used it to flee from chasing dogs, from ornery old people, and from other real and imagined monsters.[4]

I don’t remember exactly what became of the bike – though I do remember that time when I tried to climb a sand mound using it.[5] I remember tightening the chain by myself, fixing the brakes, and taking the tires to the vulcanizing shop with my dad, among other things. I loved it, but I’m pretty sure it suffered the fate that happens to most childhood stuff: I outgrew it and moved on to a bigger bike.

Anyway, last Saturday, I bought a bike. My first bike in 15 or so years. I love it, but it doesn’t quite have the same magic as that first scratched up, one-training-wheel-less, orange wonder. It has its own magic though, as (I’d like to believe) all bikes do.

Mars Kingdom Freestyle Folding Bike
This, but in blue.

1. Writing prompt from The Daily Post.
2. I was fully intending to use it as a ramp, because, you know Excitebike.
3. This made me quite adept at riding a bike while steering with one hand and balancing a stack of newspapers on the other.
4. This, on the other hand, taught me how to ride really fast – and how to use slippers as emergency brakes.
5. IThis involved another flying incident, needless to say.


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