For the six of us kids on my grandparents' block, our bikes were all important. When we weren't playing with our Star Wars figurines, singing along to the radio, or playing Charlie's Angels (I was always Kelly), we were riding our bikes. Our boundaries were either end of the block. Occasionally we'd get permission to ride all the way around the block where the best hills were, but most of the time we just rode up and down the block all summer long.
There was one empty lot on our block and it had a hill that we could ride up and back down to the street. There was a dip in the road that made you feel like you were flying. We'd get up as much speed as we could and then coast over it with our arms held out wide.
Of all the bikes I ever had, my favorite was the Star Spangler, which I called my Evel Knievel bike. It was white with red and blue stars. The vinyl of the banana seat looked like an American flag. I have a picture around here somewhere ...
One of my favorite memories is of building the bike trail the summer I was 10. Laura and Sarah's backyard was big and full of trees. There was no grass, but lots of dead leaves. So we set about raking a winding trail. Then we found scraps of wood and built a small ramp. We gathered tree limbs to lay in the trail to jump over. We dug dips in the trail with a shovel. We raked short cuts, weaving through the trees. We worked for weeks and we did it all ourselves.
Then we rode.
Around and around, oblivious to the blisters on my hands and the muggy Southern heat, I raced and popped wheelies and flew through the air with my friends, the wind tangling my hair.
You can read more memories today at Gayle's place - Monday Memories.