Bahama Tales - Bikes

Most people remember learning to ride their first two-wheeled bicycle, but I didn't start out on a small bike with training wheels. I learned on an adult women's English bicycle.

I'm not sure where my father got it, but he used it for basic transportation on short distances. It was so tall that if I straddled it (feet on the ground), the seat hit me between the shoulder blades.

In the few weeks that my mother was still in Nassau,, finishing her midwifry, I learned to ride that bike. There was a slight incline of the dirt road in front of our house in Devil's Point. My father taught me to balance with one foot on the lower pedal and glide down the little hill. I'd push it back and do it over and over again. Once I gained confidence, I pushed the higher pedal with my other foot. I could hoist myself up to the seat and glide for a bit, then slide off to pedal a bit more.

The hard part was learning to stop. It had hand brakes that needed all my strength to squeeze with my little 8 year old hands. Of course, I had to be off the seat so I could put my feet down before crashing into the bushes or rocky ground. I had plenty of scrapes and bruises for awhile.

I mentioned earlier my own first bicycle, with the high handlebars and banana seat. I loved that bike because it fit me very well. I could even pedal without standing up! I only had that bike for a few months before we moved back to the States and we had to leave it behind.

My father owned a Suzuki motorcycle in Devil's Point, too. We used it to travel back to Old Bight often. We could fit all five of us on it. With both little boys on the gas tank, my mother sitting behind Daddy, and me...sitting on the rack. (We didn't ride that way but only a couple times.)

(I'm not sure if this picture is the exact model.)

I remember a few times going to Old Bight with my father and brothers. Jonathan, my youngest brother, sat on the tank, and Phillip sat between Daddy and me. I held on to Daddy, to hold Phillip on. It was a good thing because both boys fell asleep on the way. I remember the bike tipping just as we arrived at my uncle's house. The boys woke to prickers (kind of like burdocks, only smaller and sharper)poking their bare legs.

I have fond memories of our bikes, probably because it was easier than walking!


cindi said...

Thanks for sharing your memories. I ahve always wanted a bike like the one in your first picture.

Laury said...

I love meeting young Vonnie:) I had a green bike with big handlebars and a banana seat. lol. woo


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