Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Bike

There's a Facebook post making the rounds about being a girl in the 70's. It's Donny and Marie and Shrinky-Dinks and Shaun Cassidy. It's bell bottoms and Dorothy Hamill haircuts and Little House on the Prairie. And, it's bikes - bikes with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it hanging off the handlebars. Those are my memories! That was my bike!

My banana seated bike took me all over the streets of our subdivision in Florida. The subdivision where we lived was on the Tampa Bay - a series of streets and cul-de-sacs designed to maximize the canal system so that as many homes as possible had access to the bay. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood, dropping it on someones lawn and heading back behind their house to the canal in their backyard. We'd walk along the sturdy brick wall edging the canal. Just one slip and we would have plunged into the waters - left to claw at the dock covered with barnacles in order to climb up to safety.

I rode my bike to the edge of the subdivision. There was a construction site for condominiums. This part of the subdivision wasn't on a canal but was edged by a sandy beach with all sorts of crabs to chase. We'd build crab houses and try to entice them in. Little crab resorts with crab swimming pools and crab chaise lounges. We had plenty of building material for our crab resorts - construction debris -rusted nails, broken glass, shards of wood. They (the crabs) were never impressed. We made the same elaborate resorts for lizards back home in our yards using our mothers' Tupperware and our old toys but the lizards were equally unimpressed.

A little older, I rode my bike to the five and dime. Next to the Publix grocery store, the five and dime sold every kind of trinket imaginable. Looking back now, it was the dollar store of it's day! I would buy beads. We girls had metal choker necklaces on which you could string beads - big chunky wooden earth toned beads. An add-a bead necklace for the hippie era.

My bike took me to places that made memories. Pedaling hard, wearing my knee high white go-go boots, my banana seated bike took me places that only a girl from the 70's would remember.

This post was written for the monthly Write-Away contest hosted at Scribbit. This month's topic is First Bike.


Scribbit said...

I used to ride my banana seat model to the Quik Stop for candy :) Now the place is a funeral home.

MoziEsmé said...

Bikes were definitely a vehicle to independence, it seems... Love the picture of crab resorts!