We got Rosie her bike and she loves it.  “It’s pink,” she says, if you insist on asking her about it. “Also, it’s purple.”  Both important colors.  To have both in the same thing, well I guess enough has been said.  It must make be great.  (Like Super-Why.)   

What I love about it is that she takes care of her bike, and that she so readily finds time to use it.  We had breakfast out on the court this morning, for example, and it wasn’t more than half way through my excellent cereal before Rosie had to get up to ride her bike.  

The other thing I like is what she does when she is done riding.  Rosie likes to park her bike.  She puts her bike against the wall of the house, near the water faucet.  Its the same place every time.  Lately, parking is big.  She parks her cars in a special place in our living room, too. 

John never fell off his bike.  He just took his training wheels off one day and went down the alley. Maybe that confidence will rub off on Rosie.  

I can’t help but remember my own Schwinn Sting Ray. I wore that bike out!  We lived on a cul-de-sac in a sleepy new suburb on the Southern outskirts of Kansas City.  There was not a lot of traffic.

Almost every home in our neighborhood had been built and purchased after 1970, usually by a young couple intent on establishing a family. Some called it Suburbia.  It’s what someone might call an “architectural pastiche” in the anecdotal experience of the children of baby boomers.  You know, Big Wheels, Pintos, and red-white and blue sweat bands. 

I’ve been back there.  It didn’t age very well.  But that’s another story.  What is important is that it was a great place to ride.  There was a steep hill to get to the top of the cul-de-sac.  At the other end, there was a roundabout.  

Our game was to ride from a standing start at the top of hill, reaching as high a speed as possible in order to propel down the straightaway.  We passed our house, the Stonebreakers’, and the Grunden’s house still feeling the momentum of the hill.  The real race took place in the corners, of course, where we ignored safety and crossed traffic lanes in order to get the first position into the Savin’s driveway.  It was a c-shaped concrete slab, built not unlike a pringle’s potato chip, so it was possible to safely take the driveway without much fear of losing your grip because of a melting asphalt puddle.  Having maximized that advantage, we slipped back into traffic.  I actually don’t ever remember stopping, but it must have happened.  

I think things were a bit different back then.  We didn’t wear helmets.  We didn’t have shin guards.  It was all part of a different safety regime.  I remember playing bumper brothers in the back seat of our Pontiac Firebird.  I don’t think that car had seat belts.  It definitely didn’t bear any car seats.  Oh yeah, did I mention that it was OK to climb on top of the roof of our A-Frame house?  



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