my stint as rock star bicyclist: a true story

Papa gave me my first real bike when I was about 10—a brand new, purple and sparkly 10-speed. I rode that bike like it was my job, and I felt like a rock star while doing so despite its awful girly feel to it (if there was ever something I was not, it was purple and sparkly).

10speed

This is when 10-speeds were to bikes what the latest iPhones are to cell phones today. So as all the other kids rode their much smaller, probably hand-me-down bikes, I floated along on my brand new 10-speed (though I admit to being jealous of those with BMX bikes—why I never was gifted a BMX bike, I don’t know).

Really, I was a rock star. So much so that my 10-year-old self would ride my sweet 10-speed bike in the middle of the street!

It wasn’t a busy street, just the street we lived on: a side street where the traffic could only go in one direction and where stop signs were placed at the end of every block ensuring motorists maintained the 25 mph.

When I wasn’t riding my awesome 10-speed in the street, I was racing it through the alleys. Up and down and all around the several blocks surrounding our home in the burbs. The wind whooshing through my thick bowl-cut hair. The sun tanning my olive skin. I loved the sound the bike would make when I stopped pedaling and just coasted along, my nose turned up at the others who weren’t on 10-speeds.

Yeah me and my 10-speed bike.

We lasted all of maybe two weeks together. But that’s the good thing about being a kid. Things seem to last way longer than they actually do in GrownupLand where two weeks would be a sneeze in comparison to the eternity of two weeks when you’re 10.

We had a good run…till I was pedaling my sparkly purple 10-speed down the street like a rock star and hit a pothole in just the right way that catapulted me over the front handlebars, slamming me, face first, into the cement road.

I didn’t feel like much of a rock star walking my stupid fucking bike home with blood dripping from my nose and mouth.

I never rode that girly bike again, nor have I gotten on a 10-speed since.

Still waiting for the BMX though.

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19 thoughts on “my stint as rock star bicyclist: a true story

  1. Rollerblading is my thing. I’ve got a beautiful pair of blade that carves up skatepark ramps like nothing else! Though I sometimes found myself in a similar state as you at the end there…

  2. Nice remembrance. I used to ride all over on mine and could even ride down the street with no hands. (I couldn’t now!) Yikes on your accident 😦

  3. Oof. I think you’d have more injury stories if he’d gotten you that BMX bike instead. Your story instantly transplanted me to the time i rode down a steep hill and flipped over my handlebars and landed in the lake.

  4. Meg says:

    I inherited my older brother’s 10 speed Schwinn. I regretted that middle bar more than once. What a fun read. Sorry it only lasted two weeks!

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