Growing up, my brothers and I were always on our bikes.
I remember the Christmas when all three of us received bikes. Dad had assembled them and they were in the back yard waiting for us when we woke up in the morning. It was the best present! We didn't wear helmets in those days and I don't ever remember any of us having a serious fall, although I do recall my younger brother getting his big toe stuck in the front wheel because he was riding on the handle bars on the footpath in front of our driveway.
We would go for short bike rides around the block, up to Grandma's or to the corner shop. For the longer bike rides, we liked to follow the bike track alongside the canal, through neighbouring suburbs.
Sometimes, our Uncle Adrian, affectionately called 'Adie', came along too with his dog Red. Red was a beautiful Kelpie with a shiny red-brown coat.
We gave our son his first bike one Christmas, when he was almost two. An old style heavy tricycle with a platform at the back, for a standing passenger. This is now our daughter's to enjoy. They both love giving each other rides.
For his third birthday his grandparents gave him his first two wheeler, with training wheels and he chose his own helmet.
Now I sit and watch my children riding their bikes on our deck and around the pathway at our favourite park. So much joy. So much imaginative and pretend play. They are delivery men, cumquat sellers, mechanics...the list goes on. Recently my son 'went to England' following a conversation with a tradesman who told us that he has just come back from England. The children are sponges for ideas; they listen to everything.
It's such a wonderful feeling, riding a bike. Riding a bike with the wind on your face.