Dave at Dave Moulton’s Bike Blog has tagged me as part of a meme in which I’m supposed to reveal five facts about myself. Let’s see if I can keep them all to a bike theme…
1. I first learnt to ride a bike when I was 8 years old. Given that I lived in a rural area and went to school with kids who rode bikes before they could walk, this was a relatively late age to learn to ride a bike.
2. I was taught to ride a bike by my best friend’s older sister. There were no training wheels, no gentle lessons. I was simply pushed around and around until I could do it without anyone holding me up. I remember falling off — a lot. I don’t, however, remember crying. I think I was so determined I was going to ride a bike that I didn’t give a toss if I killed myself in the process!
3. My first bike was "loaned" to me by the girl who taught me to ride. It was an old red thing that she used to ride when rounding up the cows on the family’s dairy farm! It was rusty but it was reliable. And once I’d mastered the art of staying upright while turning the pedals I was officially "gifted" the bike. I rather suspect that kind of generosity would be unheard of today.
4. I got my first proper bike from Santa the same year I learnt to ride. It had big dragster-type handlebars with purple and white streamers coming out of the hand grips! The bike was purple. The seat was white. I loved it.
5. I used to stick bits of cardboard in the spokes so that they would rub against the tyres and create a sound which, to an eight-year-old’s ears at least, resembled a motorbike. Don’t laugh. Every kid I ever knew did this too — it was so much more "professional" than simply making the noise with your mouth.
I am supposed to tag five other people to run with this meme, but I’m not going to do that. However, if you’re that way inclined please feel free to give it a whirl…