My first bike had training wheels. I believe my Mom bought it for me and I would proudly ride around my neighbourhood in Greek town with my Mom nearby feeling free for my age.
It took a long time for me to recognize the power of transportation – the power to move. I realized it in a small way through various women in her life. First there was my mother who held the family together through all the tough times. Then, there was my first Barbie doll, Christie.
I was about 7 years old and wanted this green bike from Play Time Toy store in Don Mills, Ontario. It was one of those banana seat bikes with the large handles. This made it easier for double riding.
It was my first grown up bike without training wheels. My father finally gave me the money to buy the bicycle, and I went to the toy store with my Mom to pick up the bike. I saw Christie…the first black Barbie doll I had ever seen. She was a “Kissing Barbie” with long curly black hair and wearing a pretty delicately patterned pink dress. I wanted her instead of the bike, so I used the money my father gave me to buy Christie instead.
When I got home my Dad found out I had bought a Barbie doll instead of the bike and he hit me so hard on my bottom that the blow left red welts on my brown butt. He later came to apologize, which I eventually came to accept.
How could I not forgive me – he taught me how to ride my green banana seat bike. We went to the field together at Chester Public School and he held the back of the bike while I rode. A few times, the first times, I would fall off when he would try to let go. Then…finally – I did it. I was riding for a quite a number of minutes before I realized that he was no longer holding onto the back of the bike. Wow…the freedom I felt. I no longer needed training wheels – I could really ride a bike. I was well on my way to growing up.
When I was 15 I wrote in my journal that I wanted to work for the CBC. Four later that is exactly what happened. I started out working as a program assistant with a show called “Road Movies” with CBC Ottawa. They wanted me to keep working with the show but I knew I needed to graduate from my bachelor of journalism with Carleton University.
After I graduated I worked in community radio, CKCU stationed at Carleton University. I got a call that summer to work with CBC National News in Toronto. I deliberated but decided to do it.
My shifts were horrible and a young woman heading off to work in 4:00 a.m. was not a good idea to do alone. Sometimes I would take a cab that was paid for by the CBC. I thank them for that. Many times I would ride the red Yakota bike that I absolutely loved and was my “baby” in a way.
The above is a picture of a 10-speed bike. I had a blue 10-speed bike once, however my red Yakota bike was a highbred – made for city riding. I was a reckless demon on that bike and extremely aggressive. I do not know if it was the colour of the bike that got me that way. Wearing helmets was the law in Ottawa where I went to school so I always wore one. Thank goodness for this too. I did not ever fall but my sister is a speech pathologist and she has told me many of her clients come to her with speech disorders because they have gotten into accidents while not wearing a helmet. Their head injuries have caused their speech disorder.
Later in life when I was doing my master of arts at Concordia University in Montreal, after I graduated I bought a red Wheeler bike with my former fiancé Michel. I still have the bike but honestly he rode that bike more than I did. So did someone I dated for a while named Steve. I have barely been on that bike. I just did not fall in love with it the way I was in love with my Yakota bike. I left the Yakota bike outside my apartment in Montreal and it was stolen. Mind you…I left it unlocked. Once when I was on the bus in Montreal I saw a small boy who was way too little for the bike riding it. Oh well…I can laugh about it now. He is probably big enough to fully enjoy it as I write this.
Some bikes I really like are the completely collapsible city bikes. I bought one in black back in 2003. Please see an example of what I am talking about below.
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