When I was a kid, about 7 or 8 yrs old, my parents decided to teach me how to ride a bicycle. Like properly riding a bicycle, without the trailers. I remember I was extremely reluctant to let go my trailers and I just couldn’t get the hang of it! My dad used to become extremely impatient with my unwillingness to learn and finally after many many days, it was my mom who finally managed to teach it to me!
After that, there was no stopping me. For about two years I had this small sort of kids cycle which I used to ride by increasing the height of the seat so that it suited my growing height. Cycling took the playtime fun to a new level. At that time I was living in Pune, and near our house there was small hill which we used to climb just for fun. After I learnt how to balance a bicycle, my friends and I used to cycle all the way to that hill and back. This made me independent because I didn’t have to ask my mom to take me to the hill!
I used to go on small small errands for my mom any time of the day, which was a need because my sister was a baby and my mom could use my help! Also, since my granny lived just across the main street it was easier for me to cycle there to meet her and play with my friends I had in her colony!
Just before my 6th grade school year began, my dad gifted me with my first big bicycle! All my friends had those BSA ladybirds which are supposed to be the girl bicycles. I didn’t like them because they are “too girly” for my liking and they were too light weight too. I wanted something sturdy. So I opted for BSA Hercules AXN (I am sorry, I don’t have a picture of it!). I loved it to the bits! It was the perfect bike for me. It was a girls bike but it was not light, it actually needed some time to get adjusted to its weight.
And the best part : My dad allowed me to go to school on my bicycle! This was the ultimate thing that could have happened! My school was a 10 minute ride from home, which doesn’t seem much but for an 11 yr-old person, it was a huge deal! To top it off, I used to take my bike to my Harmonium class, to the library (which helped the reader in me a LOT!) and to so many other places!
A weekend began at 6 for me, going out with my best friend to cycle around the colony! Well, this was the time before I got infatuated with computers, so outdoors was my life. I used to read a lot only when I was about to sleep or after dinner. The remaining part of the awake time went outside the house.
I really miss this a lot. I stopped cycling to this extent just one year after I bought my Hercules. The reason : we shifted to Mumbai. Even though shifting here has been a great change, I regret not able to cycle around. One main reason I stopped here was, just outside the complex I live in, there is a highway like road, and the speed of the vehicles there scared my parents and riding inside the complex felt too boring and dull to me. So eventually, sitting inside the house for long hours brought me closer to my PC and well, here I am! 😀