Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Pink Schwinn

I remember vividly my seventh birthday.

It was the year I got my first two-wheeler bicycle.

It had training wheels. (I know such a late bicycling bloomer I was.)

I knew it was not "new". I tried not to let that show...even though tears stung at my eyes knowing it wasn't the shiny new bike of my dreams.

Still, I was excited. My brother Marcus made sure I was excited about it. He talked up the banana seat, and was extremely encouraging that soon I would be riding without the training wheels. Just like him. (I wanted to be just like him.) Having a winter birthday sucks...but we made the best of the day and rode the bike up and down the hallway of our house, through the living room and back down the hall. (Thanks mom for letting us do that.)

The day after my birthday, or shortly there after was the day my dad left us, and being fully aware that my parents were getting "a divorce". It was for the better, but that is another story, for another time.
(He may have been gone before this, but I recall this birthday being a defining moment.)

This made my mom a single mother. Hence the understanding now of the second hand bicycle and the utter love and teary heart I have when I think back to this time in our lives. How she ever supported herself and us on her job of $8 something an hour is beyond me. This left my brother and I home alone quite a bit. Back in the 80's though, I guess it wasn't such a big deal to leave your kids home alone as it is now. Needless to say this left my brother and I a lot of idle time...alone, unsupervised.

One day, my brother's fascination with my bike must have gotten the better of him. See on that cool banana seat up there, there is this "handle" of sorts. I am not sure what possessed him, or me for that matter, but somehow I ended up tied to the bike by a rope while he got onto the bike (sans training wheels by this point) and told me to "Run! Run fast!" Mmmk.

So I ran. I probably got a good fifty yard dash in before I face planted it into the middle of the street and had road rash from my chin down my chest and tummy to my lower...very lower abdomen. I can't quite remember if my mom was home, Marcus jumped off the bike and untied me. I remember spending the entire evening with warm cloths pressed onto the damaged areas of my tummy, trying to get all of the tiny rocks and such out of my skin. Oh how it hurt to wear pants for days. :(

Then we moved. We moved across the street from my grandma. She lives in a very old part of Salt Lake City. Not too far from her house is a 7/11. My brother and I would go there seemingly daily (although financially that would be impossible) to get some Lik m Aid Fun Dip and some Neopolitan ice cream sandwiches. What could be a more perfect ride than the Schwinn?

So there I am, sitting on the back of the seat while Marcus mans the pedals and handlebars. I am holding onto the little metal handle, trying with all of my might to keep my feet out of the spokes. (Remember mom always warned you about that?) When to my chagrin my right heel got caught in the spoke, ripped off my shoe and ripped off my heel with it. I was screaming and howling...and Marcus was still going, intent on the Summer treats waiting at the sev. Finally he stopped and I limped back to grandma's house. Grandpa put me back together and all was fine.
This time? Weeks to heal.

This is why every good bikes needs a set of pegs.

I miss my Schwinn.


Tim and Ashlee said...

I totally remember my first bike. It was the same one my dad learned to ride on as well as my three sisters. My parents still have it. But I must say I was disappointed at the time that it didn't have a sweet banana seat. hehe

Oh and Fun Dip....I so remember getting those when I was a kid too.

Sell...Party Of 4 said...

you seriously had me laughing so hard that some of my office staff came to ask me what was so funny! thanks for making my whole night! keep up the great memories!

Cassie said...

Such fantastic memories. Loves the fun dip.

Lace said...

I had a discusting banana seat too, it was torn and yucky! eeew. Thanks for reminding me! :)
Times were so different then weren't they? Even though it wasn't that long ago!

Heather said...

I love all these little stories of your childhood!! I have always wondered what made Kim. .. KIM!! Sorry to hear about all the bumps and bruises. I was in pain with you. I do not miss those road rashes from bike rides. . .your poor tummy!!
I love what a sweet relationship you had with your brother and Grandparents.
I may have to go get me a Fun Dip!!

Amy and Josh said...

My bike was never that cool-the whole banana seat deal:)
All I remember about bike memories is riding out of control down a hill and running smack dab into a tree as the handle bar jabbed me right in the stomach. OUCH. But a little boy on another bike witnessed the whole thing so of course I couldn't cry. But I REALLY wanted to.

Love those childhood memories of Craziness. You and your brother sound like a good team...except for the heel in the spokes! Sounds painful! love ya Kim

Holly said...

I had a similar spoke experience. Owwww. Also on a aide note I have to add I am writing this comment from inside an airplane on the Tarmac in Dallas tx. Praise be to the iPhone. Hope your are having a great time and that we can hang out soon.

UtahMan said...

I feel so bad. Remember though, if you were seven I couldn't be much older!

If it makes you feel better you can tie me to the back of your truck and drag me for a bit.

I miss fun dip.

I visited Grandma on my lunch break yesterday. I kind of wish we could go back to those days. It would be nice to relive them knowing they wouldn't last forever. They were rough times.