A Bike Grows with the Rider

Joan Vanderkooy - Portland, OR

A Bike Grows with the Rider

In 1956 on my 9th birthday, my parents told me to open our garage door and look inside.  There it was: my first bike...a beautiful, blue Schwinn Hornet with back-peddle brakes and no gears!  I loved that bike and spent many years riding it, even pretending it was a bus!  I would do errands on it for my mother and I rode to school occasionally (no locks necessary back then).  When I was 18 years old, I rode to Sauvie Island with a college friend...a 30 mile round trip excursion!

My only incident with the bike happened when I wanted to see what it would feel like riding down a hill with my eyes closed!  Needless to say, my bike and I survived remarkably well after running into a cement wall... only a few scrapes on both of us!

After I married and left home, my father gave my bike to a friend's wife.  I somehow got it back a few years later and started to ride it again in my thirties and forties.  In the early 1980's, I transported my young son in a (pre-safety) carrier on the back

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