Adventures of Childhood

My Trek Rock Mountain BIke
My Trek Rock Mountain BIke | Source
Grandson Adam (Jones) Mayer
Grandson Adam (Jones) Mayer | Source
The author as a young boy.
The author as a young boy. | Source
Adam, Grandson
Adam, Grandson | Source
Adam, grandson
Adam, grandson | Source

Freedom!

Riding a bicycle is the oldest form of mechanical exercise and the most utilized childhood transportation to and from school, back and forth to the park, etc. What a fantastic event to propel yourself down the streets and through the trails, enriching life, finding adventure whether as a youth or adult, beginning from time eternal!

My most exciting memories were of riding to my buddies to just go play. But with the pushing of my calves forward and down forcefully and incessantly, making the wheels turn faster, and the bike seem to fly up and down the hills, jumping the curbs, and bouncing the tires as often as I could; time would fly by, yet stand still in the afternoons, making me forgetful of after school chores and even forgetting dinner time. Many times I was late for dinner, but somehow mother must have understood, for she would have our plates waiting and our meals warm for us.

When I was about 10 my father took us to the newspaper circulation office and signed both my brother and I up for paper routes with about 125 customers each. Was I ever excited.. until I realized the papers had to be picked up out front each day and rolled and bagged and stored in the shoulder carried Leader-Call carrier bag. But once done with the rolling, we were off and away, my brother one direction and I in another.. Riding down 15th Avenue.. slinging those paper bombs left and right along the way.. into Mrs. Smith’s driveway or on Mr. Browns sidewalk, each paper having a specific landing spot that we attempted to hit each and every time. Learning to throw from a bike was a talent of itself. You had to prepare and posture in the right direction, tuck the paper under left or right arm and then simply project it forcefully in the favored direction with a sudden whip of the arm and sometimes a quick wrist maneuver to get it to land exactly where you aimed..

The wonder of it was as you got halfway through the route, you suddenly realized how light your paper-bag was, and energy increased while the momentum carried you faster to the end.. but wait.. uh oh.. there was Lowery’s barber shop.. always you gotta stop there and chat with the barbers… and of course see if they had any new comics out there on the book tables for you to read.. see, you got pretty involved in the batman series, or the Richie Rich series, and a new one meant you just HAD to come back after the last paper was thrown and read the new ones..( Mom, that was why we were late sometimes..)..

The downside was that at times we had to sub for another route and carry twice as many papers and boy were we de-energized those particular days.. totally pooped out.. but wait.. on Saturday, once the routes were done, we got to play, and ride those two wheel cycles to our buddies house, hoping they were going to join us for an afternoon of excitement , riding down to Crockers-on-the-Hill, where there was a very high swing and sliding board and the world’s biggest merry-go-round. Bill's Grocery was close enough that we could keep our pockets stocked with hard candy and everyone could have soda’s as the afternoon heat bare down on us. We hated to go home when it was finally getting dark.

Years passed, and I always kept a bike, letting it progress into mountain bikes, once a touring bike, false starts on cross the state bike rides. Why I remember I once engaged on a solitary Alaska 100 mile highway tour. More mosquitoes than Webster had clocks for sure.. That particular ride came to a miserable end about 65 miles along and I finally gave out. I cannot remember to this day who picked me up and carried me, bike and all the last 35 miles.. I still laugh about that! But growing out of adolescence in to adulthood found me limiting my adventures more and more as the years went by, yet I was still pedaling; even some of it is done in good weather today when I feel young and frisky again. The notable part is that in the last couple years I have found the value of exercise biking in the room off the kitchen, where I can control most things around me and listen to tunes on the radio while I pedal, watch something on the stove, or just burn up the proverbial rubber tires of memory lane. No one is too old to crank the pedals if health allows. It is good for both the heart and for the soul.

When weather allows I ride the four miles to the end of County road 27 and back still. there are two ups and downs going each way, so it is a perfect workout. Never give up!

Oscarlites


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