5/31/2005

Cycling

After Vee and I got bikes the little kids got theirs about August, I think for Arr's bday. Once we were all riding we did a lot more together.

One of the rides we took most often was the road to grama's house. We visited both sets of grands on the bikes but the most fun was to Dad's folks. They lived further out of town which made it more of an adventure.

It actually was over the pond and past the fields, not over the river and through the woods, to get there. We used to pack a thermos of juice or kook-aid, pb & j sandwiches with a banana and some chips for a snack. Vee would carry them in her basket.

Riding single file on the right hand side of the road and using hand signals for our turns, we would swoop into the vallies and crawl up the hills to the flat lands. If a car approached on our side we would pull over and stop. We could see them in our mirrors. When a farm dog ran out to chase us all four horns would start blasting and we would scream at them to "git home, dawg!"

Dad taught us to ride safely. I wish more kids knew the road rules for bicycling. I would like to see more bikes with mirrors and horns on them. Not to mention generator lights on front and back as well as reflectors on the spokes.

In May the lilacs, flowering almond, honeysuckle and honey locusts were all in bloom. Their sun heated, heavy, sweet scents would fill our noses with their perfumes all the way along the flats.

About 3 miles from town, after a couple miles in the reflection from the pavement of the hot sun, we would stop on the side of the road under a big old oak near our aunt's place to catch our breath and eat our snacks. The shade would hit us like the air conditioner at the grocery store. Ahhh! We'd fling ourselves off the bikes and down into the tall, cool grasses to rest. From there it was about two more miles to grama's place.

There weren't any iPods and we didn't have pocket radios so we would sing while we rode. We knew all the songs off one "Sing along with Mitch" album and a lot of current music as well as lots of old country songs. We weren't bad and it was fun to see how many "bottles of beer" it would take to get from one turn to the next.

Once we got to grama's we would beg for her kool-aid pops. She would put the flavored drink in ice cube trays and stick popcicle sticks into them as they froze. The zesty frozen treats were very refreshing after a long ride.

Then it was another half mile to great grama's house where we could get icy cold water from her well and a cookie or two.

We'd visit with all of them, see how many new kittens were in the barn and check to see if the strawberries were coming on again yet. We might talk on the CB to our aunt for a while or ride back down the road to play with the girls that lived on the corner.

But finally, we'd be running out of daylight. We would give Mom a call to let her know we were starting out for home. When we arrived, dusty, tired and hungry, she would send us up to shower and change then feed us dinner. We'd be too tired to argue about bedtime. The parents must have loved the times we rode to grama's and back.

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