Today in Toronto it is sunny and the temperature is 10°C. I'm stuck indoors for only a few more hours and then it's off for an afternoon ride on the new bike. Bliss!
This time of year, when we're all just getting back to the streets that were covered in ice and snow only a month ago, I always think back to my first days on two wheels back in Port Elgin.
I have a lot of great memories of riding laps around our cul de sac (first crit?) with my sister and all the neighbourhood kids. I remember the sound of the leftover sand between my tires and the pavement, the smell of the lawns thawing from the deep freeze and the joy of finally ditching the winter coat for a new spring model.
And I remember my first ever bicycle. The picture above was taken right after bringing it home from the store. As you can see, the protective foam is still on the top tube. It's a Rainbow Rider. My twin sister is beside me on the red one. We thought these bikes were the shit. It came with a banana seat (which has a very pretty rainbow on it) and not content to just ride stock, we added on our own honker horns and upgraded streamers shortly after this picture was taken. The training wheels came with it.
At first I was hesitant about choosing the Rainbow because all my friends had "Blue Angels" and so I of course wanted one too. But I'm glad I went with the Rainbow Rider (although I still opted for the blue ...). I remember every moment of picking this bike out. Important stuff. I thought the best part was that when the sun shone through the reflectors, little rainbows appeared on the concrete. "How cool is that?" I thought ... then found out later that this is not a unique feature to Rainbow Rider reflectors.
My first bike was the ultimate freedom for a 6 year old. I remember the first time I made it off the training wheels. All of a sudden, the ride was quiet -- the clatter of the worn out trainers silenced -- and I really felt like I was flying. My dad saw that the time had come, and he took them off. Although I was super nervous, and not quite sure about his judgment, I pushed off and with every pedal stroke my smile widened til I was laughing my way around our street.
I spent all my play time riding that Rainbow Rider, making sure to be home when the streetlights came on. Thus began my love for bikes.
Since that blue Rainbow Rider, I've had the pleasure of riding:
- Yellow Supercycle I crashed on my first dirt jump (I wasn't dirt jumping on purpose ...)
- Purple Raleigh Tarantula which I had for years and years until it got stolen in Toronto
- Red Rocky Mountain Fusion I bought to replace the tarantula -- my first race bike
- Red Giant NRS -- my first bro deal
- White Giant Anthem 0 -- my first pro deal
I hope they're happy, wherever they are.