My cycling memories are imbued with ecstatic feelings of joy and delight. It was a safe time to ride fearlessly on the roads or inside the colony, albeit under the surveillance of some family member.
I remember one day our housemaid pushed me when I was trying to stabilize myself on my “Suhrab Bicycle,” and the next moment, I found myself riding without putting my feet on the ground. I wobbled a bit but then had an exhilarating experience of my first independent ride.
On a bicycle ride to market, my whole body would jerk on custom-made speed breakers in the road, each bump of a different height to restrain the flow of traffic. In front of ministers and well-to-do persons’ houses, the bumps were relatively high, a sign of hegemony over the rest of people.
Kids, whether boys or girls, would ride without fear of some unknown danger as opposed to the situation nowadays. The racing competitions were held among the neighboring kids, some with injured knees, and others with bruised elbows but those were part and parcel of any riding experience. My younger brother in his white shorts and shirt would zoom past our neighbors and friends on a white cycle, flaunting his skills and speed. I often thought of emulating the zealous riders who ride with their arms outstretched or folded, but my thoughts were never translated into reality.
My maid would sit on the cycle’s rear carrier and we often went on an expedition to explore the neighboring lanes. I remember when I braked just an inch from a brown puppy and the whole night I dreamt of him crushed beneath the wheels. Surely a horrible dream indeed.
Once, I crashed into our neighbor’s gigantic garden hedge. How can I forget that mystery car which remained parked all day and night at the dead end of the next lane? A parachute cover, so caked with dirt, that its original color was invisible. I bumped into that black monster, but luckily it was a forgotten treasure since a long time so nobody bothered about any damages. A few claimed it to be a stolen car. Some of the weird stories circulated in the town that it was a murderous car and carried out its operations at night. I often thought that it captured those naughty kids who’re reluctant to go to school. Oh, it’s just a childhood naivety.
The whole era of those memorable experiences are still fresh in my mind, waiting for the right time to make their entry. Let’s celebrate cycling memories by sharing our stories. What do you think?