My Red bike was the center of my world

Krista Leaders - Long Beach, CA

My Red bike was the center of my world

I wanted a red bike more than anything in the world for my 5th birthday. So on a summer day in July of 1971 I was given a beautiful, red, Schwinn Stingray bike with big handlebars, chrome fenders, black ""banana"" seat with a silver stripe down the middle and a ""sissy bar."" The front tire had a brick pattern and the rear tire was a wide slick tread. This bike was a no frills bike, I wasn‚Äôt having anything to do with flowers or pink or tassels.  The bike was way too big for me, but I didn't care, it was mine and I was going to learn how to ride it. My dad took me out on the sidewalk, steadied me and then ran behind me countless times until I was able to ride; training wheels were not an option.  I must have fallen a hundred times before I rode it down the street. That single gift changed the trajectory of my life more than any other. On my Stingray I was able to go farther, faster, and be more brave and confident. In a neighborhood of boys and at a time when Evel Kneivel was our hero and BMX was just beginning I learned to be a daredevil on my Stingray. It was only a few years before I had the bike going off jumps, and doing wheelies.

My bike was the center of my world.

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