January 07, 2003
WHO AM I?
...AND HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN IN THE SADDLE? PT.1
I am tickled pink that you asked!
I know, I know, I asked. :-)
Just go with it ok? I'm from California, and the smog makes us act weird. It's one reason I took up cycling as a child in the first place ( No, not to stay healthy! But, because being a Cyclist, in car mad California is to be the epitome of weird. Well, to some anyway ). :-)
By different routes my parents came to California in the late 40's and early 50's.
My Dad by boat and train, and my Mom by car along Route 66.
By the time they met in around 1955/6 both had pretty much forsaken their Patriotic Duty to learn how to drive & own a car and, instead let their feet do the travellin' and also fell in love with the Bus ( sit back, relax, leave the drivin' to us! ) at about the time the famous RED CAR Trolley Lines snaking out in all directions from downtown Los Angeles were breathing their last (That darn SMOG flexing it's muscles, no doubt!).
I have this vision of my Dad proposing to my Mom, in 1957, on the steps of the front end of the old RTD Line 60G as it sits out in front of the Pomona Train Station.
I never did find out if that was REALLY how it happened. :-)
Anyway, one lazy summer afternoon, or evening, in late June/early July 1959 a future Cyclist was conceived, and at 830am on March 5th of the following year I made my Grand Entrance.
Flash forward 6 months to my first exposure to modes of transportation...
My parents thought that plopping me down on a rocking horse would be cute.
The photo shows a fat, shirtless baby, in diapers, and straw hat, with a look on his face that practically screams, "Hi Ho, Silver, NO WAY!"
Must have been early in the month, because there is also a picture of me in the first and ONLY car I've ever owned...
A cute little number ( the car, not the girl in the passenger seat with me! ) that was a bright red.
I'm shirtless & wearing a Hard Hat, and the girl has the straw hat, and we seem to be having a fine time tooling around the drive way in our jalopy. :-)
Neither the girl or the car made a lasting impression with me, and it wasn't until my 2nd Birthday that my parents made another attempt at getting me interested in transportation matters.
My very FIRST BIKE!
There I am, happy as a pig in slop, wearing a light brown shirt, with dark brown pants, the wind in my hair, a rakish smile on my lips, pedaling my little red Tricycle down the driveway, hell bent for leather, and not a traffic cop in sight!!
Flash forward again, and it's May of 1965, and I have been tooling around for 3 months on my newest wheels....
The picture shows yet another red number, this time with front and rear fenders, and.. TA DA! Yes!! TRAINING WHEELS!!!!
Whoo Hoo! Same driveway, same smile, the wind in my hair, and STILL no cop in sight! :-)
I don't know what model bikes these first 2 were, but it was apparent that I was hooked on cycling, despite the brief fling with a skateboard, 1 1/2 years later, that ended with the board disappearing due, I learned 20 years later, to my Dad fearing for the life of his only son at the hands of the infernal contraption. :-)
By May 1968 the training wheels were long gone, and I had my first Schwinn.
Yes, it, too, was red.
A long, wide, white saddle...
And obscenely U-shaped handle bars that would look perfectly at home on some weight machine, at LA FITNESS, being used by some Arnold Schwartzenwhatshisname wanna-be to lift 500 lbs. doing Preacher Curls or something.
Same driveway, same smile, no cops.....
The cop showed up that summer.....
And, on that note I'll say good night, and pick up the story tomorrow evening....
I have big, ambitious, plans for this blog, and am just getting started...
I don't know where I'll end up, but your welcome to tag along on the journey....
Good Night! :-)
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