I Want to Ride My Bicycle!

I’m always had a special relationship with bikes. I remember my first one. I was in Mexico at the time…living with my Mom. I was eight years old and I got it for my birthday.

It was something that looked liked this :

But mine had a white seat and the frame was navy blue and it had red, white and blue streamers coming out of the handle bars. I called her “La Americana”. She was a beauty and I loved riding her. I was lucky to ride her at all. We lived Chiapas, Mexico and paved roads were hard to come by but my Mom had just moved us into an apartment in a neighborhood that had the prettiest streets I’d ever seen. It was smooth sailing. I had the Beatles hair cut at the time and my hair flew up into an upside down bowl every time I sped down the hill of our street.

I didn’t get to ride her for very long because I got really sick right around that time and my Mom decided to cross the border into the U.S. and get me some medical treatment for my Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis. I had to leave La Americana behind with my best friend Suley. I never saw “La Americana” again. I hope Suley got to ride her though. It would have been a waste if nobody got to enjoy her like I did.

My second bike was pink and it looked something like this:

She was metallic pink and she was fast. I got her when I was in 5th grade so I must have been 12 or 13 years old. I called this bike Laura Holt after the smart girl detective in Remington Steele.  It was kind of good and kind of sad that Laura Holt was fast. It was bad that she was fast because my parents didn’t let me ride her on the streets! We were living in a small attic apartment in off of Santa Monica and Vine in Hollywood, California. Traffic was bad and a bit scary so I was forced to ride it around and around and around the parking lot of a school right in front of our apartment…where my Mom could watch me from the window of our apartment.

But once…when my stepfather I was at work, I convinced my Mom to let me take her for a spin around the neighborhood. As soon as she said yes, I was out the door with Laura Holt and already seated on her before the wheels hit the ground. It was the best ride of my teenage life. I waived goodbye to pimps and cops alike while riding and rode past head shot studios and second hand stores and the Pavillions by our house that we could never shop at because it was too expensive. Fun, fun, fun!

I don’t remember what happened to Laura Holt. I just called my Mom to find out but she’s not picking up. I think we might have had to sell her.  My sister Mercy was born right around this time and money was tight.

And now, at 32 I bought myself a bike on craigslist and here she is:

I call her Midnight and you may not be able to see very clearly from this picture but she is a gorgeous Navy Blue and she is smooth. The day I bought her I rode her for hours on the Chandler Bike Path by my house and couldn’t stop! I felt like a kid again. It’s the best feeling in the world to pedal a bike and feel the wind in your hair and ride until your legs feel like they are going to fall off. I was going to hold out for a more expensive bike that I might be able to race in a triathlon in future but given my current unemployed/student/playwright/theater manager status I don’t think I will be able to do that for quite some time.  She didn’t come with a basket and that is something I really wanted because I plan to use my car less and less. I needed something to put groceries and books and my purse in when I am out and about in the NoHo Arts District and to LA Valley College for my classes…maybe even to the gym which is not too far away. I’ve already taken her out on the bike path for 30 miles from Burbank to Encino and she was great to ride. Next stop is the beach.  My friend Teddy said he’d join me. Here he is on his Schwinn beach cruiser.