Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My First Bicycle - Part Two

Like I said last Monday, I was an immediate expert bicyclist. 
In this picture you can see the Beehive up the hill behind our jeep, The Yellow Dragon. Left to right, Erva, Me, Dad, Nana (Dad's Mom) and Mom. 

From where we parked the jeep, the driveway was pretty steep and rutted as you can sort of see in this picture. The building to the right was a workshop. (It would be to the left in the above picture.) Dad had his ham radio station there and his tools and it's where we kept our bikes. It's also where I "went to school" because Mom was home schooling me at the time.

About a week or so after I learned to ride I coasted down off that gravelly driveway, and merged onto a flat stretch of dirt road that merged onto a paved road.

I was going too fast. There was a lip where the pavement met the dirt road. I was afraid if I hit that lip too fast I'd loose control of the bike. I slammed on the handle-bar brakes, not realizing what would happen.

Bike came to a sudden stop, Bish went flying. I hit the ground so hard the wind got knocked out of me. When I could finally breathe I started screaming...and Mom didn't call me "one of God's screechers" for nothing. Somehow, from all the way up at the house, she heard me and came running.

I'd landed on my hands and knees. My palms were scraped and my right knee was a mess. It was gouged and full of dirt and tiny bits of rock. Mom took one look at it and realized her ministrations might not be enough.  She loaded me in the jeep and we went to tell Dad we were going to the clinic in Cruz Bay and have Dr. Peterson take a looked at it. It might need stitches at the worst. But it definitely needed a professional cleaning.

I, of course was sobbing from pain, from fear, from surprise at how easily I could be thrown from the bike. Plus I was upset that I was going to have a scar on my knee.

And Dad says, "Don't worry, you can wear stockings when you grow up and it won't show."

Already a tomboy, the idea of wearing stockings meant that I couldn't run around barefooted. Wearing stockings was, to me, a kind of punishment for being a girl. I wailed even louder, "But I don't want to wear stockings!"

Oh...I laugh now, but it wasn't funny then! As it turned out, I didn't need stitches, just some good irrigating, stinging Mercurochrome and a bandage.  However, it did leave a scar I still have, though it's faded. And as for stockings, I never have worn them except for very special occasions.

How about you, any bicycle scars? Are you a stockings or barefoot kind of person person?


  1. In 1998, during the massive flood in which San Antonio's new river engineering proved itself so well, I was in charge of native guiding an SCBWI guest speaker. We'd been in conference all morning and didn't even know there'd been a flood, so our ride took us downtown and dropped us at the Enchilada, where I always start the tour for literary guests; but we were turned away at the library door because it was closed for a state of emergency. So we went to the walk to see the water instead and I told him all about the 1921 flood. Later, my sister said she'd seen someone in the background of the news footage and thought it looked like me and I told her it probably was. The flooding really wasn't a problem. The streets were sloppy, but I took my shoes off and put them in my backpack so as not to ruin them.

    She said: "Well, if I'd seen she was barefoot, I'd have known it was you!" I don't wear stockings, or shoes, either, if I can help it. The first thing I do when I get home is take my shoes off. My sister and brother used to be pretty good barefooters, too. We used to run barefoot in the alley behind our grandparents' apartment, which was paved with gravel and old furnace clinkers, in perfect comfort. I've been told I'm really a hobbit.

    And anybody who wears stockings in San Antonio in August is a masochist. Did you know it was a degree cooler in Death Valley yesterday than it was here?

  2. The first summer my daughter went to camp she took biking and during her first long ride, did the same thing you did. She's got the knee and elbow scars to prove it. I have a few myself from a time I was riding no hands down a hill and a neighborhood dog decided to chase a ball...the most direct route to the ball was right under me. Ouch.

  3. As soon as I saw the combination of bike and gravelly hill, I knew what was coming and cringed. I've had my share of bike falls, but no scars. The scars I do have from childhood I remember in a strangely fond way because the memories are so detailed.

  4. Oh, how funny. ( now) ;-)

    No bicycle scars (physically) I was scared witless when I first tried to ride though.

    Stockings when I'm working - but barefoot baby outside of the office. Give the sand and the grass beneath my feet anytime.

  5. I don't have a scar from biking (although I did go over the handlebars of my brother's bike), but I do have a scar on my knee from where I fell off a swing at height. I love that scar!

  6. I have scars from horseback riding. :-) But my bike was my life at one time. Great story, Bish. I'll have to go read part one. :-) Oh and I'm a barefoot kinda gal except when riding horses.

  7. Catching up, finally. Great story, great pictures.

    I learned to ride a bike as an adult in Indiana, during my post-doc. at Purdue. My apartment was only 3 miles away.

    However, I do have scars on my knees from trying to ride a friend's bike in India.

    As for me, I loathe both stockings and bras, though I'll wear them once in a while.

  8. Super photos, as usual, Bish!
    I had a similar bike riding incident that ended up with hamburger knees. They were pretty scarred for a while, but I don't think you can see the scars anymore! (so no pantyhose for me!)

  9. Great post! I go bare-legged all the time and I used to ride my bike bare-footed until I tried to use my big toe as a brake.


  10. I remember my first serious fall from my two-wheeler. That was so not fun and it scared my grandmother so much I had trouble convincing her I should get back on and ride.

    Those challenging balance moments taught me a lot.

  11. Oh, this brought back so many memories. I had a little yellow bike and I used to see how fast I could go around a corner. You can only image what happened...

  12. Oh yeah, I have some bicycle scars. I once crashed my bike at the end of a very long hill, and yeah. Ouch. I loved reading your story, and seeing your pics!

  13. I have those scars from wrecking on the gravel roads too. They hurt to get cleaned out too. LOL. the good old days and we survived without helmets.

  14. I can sooo relate to your story. It was all so much fun despite the mishaps :)

  15. I think knees were made for landing on when falling off a bicycle. I scraped up my knees more times than I can remember as a kid and most times this had to do with a bicycle and gravel.
    Great story and pictures, Bish!

  16. I love this story! I can imagine you howling, "I don't want to wear stockings!"

    Neither do I. ;)

  17. Aw, I missed Part 2 of your first bike story. I'm glad you mentioned it in the comment on my blog today. I remember that awesome tree photo in Part 1 and how young you were when you took it. Great award-winning quality photo.

    I don't have any bike scars. I did break an arm while bike riding once, but it wasn't my arm. Yep, I'm so bad, huh? It wasn't intentional. I rode in front of a friend's bike. She hit my bike and fell off hers and broke her arm. Yes, I did feel bad that I caused it, but I still like to pull that line about how I broke an arm once! Yep, stupid, I know. I'm easily amused!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!