Say It Isn't So

Sunday, December 04, 2005


My very first set of wheels, pictured left, and I had absolutely no control over where they took me. Suffice to say that I believe I enjoyed every minute of being pushed around in it! This picture was taken outside the apartment that we lived in at the time of my birth. The street was named Begin.

The next vehicle was one that I managed to power myself. A tricycle. I don't have a physical picture of it but I do have one in my mind. It toured my neighbourhood on a regular basis. By this time we were out in the burbs. There was a nearby highway that connected Montreal to Toronto. One day I decided to take my wheels down to the shopping mall. The only way that I knew to get there was via this highway. So that is exactly what I do. I did have sense enough to stay on the shoulder and I make it all the way to Steinberg's, the grocery store. I liked it there, because when you got your shopping done and went through the checkout they would purvey your bags or boxes out to an area where you could drive up to it and they would load your booty into the trunk. This elaborate delivery system consisted of a line of metal rolling pin like devices that would spin as the objects moved along it. Utterly fascinating. Of course, I had no money. I was just there to watch. The next thing I know, a policeman arrives and loads me and my tricycle into his policecar, and carts me off to my house. It was a small world back then. Things were simple. The reprimand was loud and clear. My little mind however, immediately went to work on imprinting another route to the mall.

We move out of the burbs and back to the city, because my Dad did not like the long commute. This is where I get a new set of wheels for my 5th birthday. Two wheels which require a great deal of effort to keep upright when your feet are off the ground. Never the less, the task gets mastered. From that moment on I was a bicycle rider, clear up until I started going to University. Somehow it seemed to childish to be 17 and on a bike. However about 6 years later I had moved to Toronto and was working at a hospital. The Transit system emplyees go on strike. I buy myself a bicycle so that I can get myself to work everyday. Works out beautifully. So I stay with the bicycle, move out west and discover the mountain bike. Love at first ride. The supreme adventure. This bike moves to California with me, where I would ride it for hours each day because I was not working on anything but dealing with the INS. There were so many reports of people being hit by automobiles out here that I had to stop. It was a regular occurrence. Drunks don't drive very well and they sure as Hades don't stop. From then on in it was a matter of loading our bikes into the van and going to the beach or a State Park in order to get some riding in. The frequency dropped to about once a week, then once every 2 weeks, then once a month, then not much at all, then not at all. And then it hit me.


Some part of me says that all that exercise, of which bicycle riding was a part, helped to keep the monster at bay.

I just gave my mountain bike away to my neighbour, and I am sad about the parting. It is like losing a limb, or something. I guess that is not a good analogy because I have never lost a limb, and I would not want to insult any one who has, but it creates an ache. As for the recycle, I hope she enjoys the bike even half as much as I did.


At 6:31 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger Pris said...

This post touched me so much. I used to be an avid bicyclist. When I got hit with CFIDS, it was hard to keep my balance just to walk through the house dizzily, much less think bike! For the first year, whenever I saw someone on a bike I cried a little. I never imagined that it would be so hard to give up. I still miss the rush of wind across my face, my legs pumping...

At 10:38 AM, December 07, 2005, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

The next thing I know, a policeman arrives and loads me and my tricycle into his policecar, and carts me off to my house. It was a small world back then. Things were simple. The reprimand was loud and clear

I miss that. When people looked out for one-another. It reminds me of the town, Glenwood MN, where many of my relatives live. My aunt habitually leaves her house unlocked and leaves her Cadallac running in front of the grocery store while she shops.

At 11:18 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger Amy Byrd said...

Sheesh, Mouse... You had me laughing and crying all in one beautifully descriptive post. You always take me back to my childhood, and I love that. I laughed out loud at the vision of you 'driving' your tricycle down the 'big road'. ha ha ha... Kids are so cool. Brainless, fearless... wonderfully innocent. I guess that's why motherhood is a potent combination of love and fear all wrapped into one.

I related to your mountain biking. My son was an avid biker and could have become national, but something stopped him when he was in Colorado. A young woman who was jealous of the hours and hours he spent just riding for the sheer joy of it. He might go back to it. I hope he does because there are at least five bikes dumped in my garage that are worth more than my house!

I wish I knew more about MS. TIME had on last week's cover something about the major diseases. I took it to bed to read up on MS and there was no mention of it. I've read about it online, but it is a mystery. I think that alone must cause the sufferers of it to suffer more.

The 'losing a limb' analogy? I think it's a good one. We spend our adult lives trying to dump the bad memories, baggage of our pasts; when we are forced to dump the good, it has to leave a huge vacuum because those are the memories that sustain us and make us happy when we need a little boost.

Wonderful story - as usual...... Thanks!

At 9:43 PM, December 09, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

Pris I know how you felt. Bicycle riding is such a joy. Touring the neighbourhood, smelling the flora, the fauna and the barbeques. Gliding through the air like a pilot without wings. At least we had the pleasure for a time, eh?

At 9:47 PM, December 09, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

Mdm, I didn't think anyone in this country did that anymore. I hope your aunt at least has the Caddy locked while she's in the store.

At 9:53 PM, December 09, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

Amy, thanks for the compliment. I was a bit of a knucklehead back then, now I'm just hardheaded.


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