The Pedal People

Can we become the pedal people?

From my 9th birthday until well past those magical years of adulthood, my primary mode of transportation was a bicycle.

My first bicycle was a 26" Schwinn in dark, dirty blue with a huge front basket. I had that one until I was about 18.

In Amsterdam I had a specially fitted bicycle cobbled together from many different bicycles and signed with the blood and sweat of the Australian friend who custom made it for me. I was the envy of many an Amsterdammer because it had a special piece on the back that enabled me to carry groceries and bottles and my kleine kindtje.*

And for a brief time, also in Amsterdam, I had a bicycle that collapsed like an umbrella. This one didn't last very long because if I recall it collapsed in the middle of the Rokin and I nearly got run over.

In New York bicycles seemed to vanish faster than in the Netherlands. In a period of 15 years I went through a few: two Raleighs, one weird 15-speed Italian that was stolen in the West Village, another racer of European pedigree with 5 speeds and a lovely 3 speed Raleigh that got crushed with me on it in a car-bike collusion in 1989.

Now it seems I am always in a car, and frankly I don't like it and miss my bicycles.

* small child

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