Childhood memories always always have a bicycle in them, mine’s no different
The first bicycle I ever consciously remember riding was called StreetCat, it was a black and yellow bike which obviously should have been called a bumblebee or a wiz khalifa song, but this was way back in the 00’s, and songs made a little more sense then than they do now
Anywhoo, streetcat belonged to my aunt and sat in my grandma’s tool shed/scary room for a very long time, covered by co-webs and kept warm by chickens that made their home in that shady place. When I was 10, on vacation and a bother to all the adults , who didn’t know how to keep me occupied, I was sent to check on the chickens every half an hour. The chickens annoyed as they were, had no option but to accommodate me in their little world, but my attention was always on Streetcat.
It wasn’t long before my grandma saw the yearning and after much negotiations with the chickens and a not so delighted mother Hen, we managed to free streetcat from the clutches of the crazy chicks. StreetCat was not necessarily the most glamorous cycle, nor was it in the greatest shape, it was but a dream in the eyes of a 10 year old.
After a thorough cleaning, some chain fixing and greasing, convinced by my grandma, I climbed on that monster of a bike. As big as the bike the fishmonger rode, I couldn’t even touch my feet to the ground, which didn’t seem to worry any of my family members, but she took the time to teach me, holding me on one side and balancing on the red rock wall or “durig” as we call it, afternoon after afternoon my grandma and I kept at it, until I could ride. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but at that time, it meant the world to me, and a way to see the world around me.
If in this life, if I ever achieve anything, if I do end up doing anything worthwhile it wouldn’t compare with that first feeling of riding that cycle, with my grandma watching me disappear down the road, a smile on her face.
Streetcat is in someone else’s custody now, it has become someone else companion, but for a brief 2 months, it was mine, and I don’t think anything can replace that. A dear friend asked my what was my childhood dream and I immediately said ” to have a cycle” when I asked him what his was, he replied the same thing. We are all the same, and all our memories seem to be the same, small and very very simple.
Thank goodness for the little things in life.
To Chickens, StreetCat, Childhood and my Grandma