Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Remember Your First Bike!

 Geared for the Grave is about Evie Bloomfield talking over running a bike shop on Mackinac Island. I love bikes. For me it was the first taste of real freedom 

To say my parents were frugal is the understatement of the century. They kept things forever, till it wore out and then they found a use for it as something else. This explains the baby changing-table turned into a TV stand, the stained Christmas tablecloth as a tree skirt and that my brother rode a girl’s bike so when he got too big for it, it got passed down to me.

Before you start feeling all teary-eyes for brother dear when he got the next size bike it was boy’s bike and that got passed down to me! We were definitely a no-frills kind of family.
My cousin had a new red bike...a girl’s bike with a basket that had flowers on it! And I had brother’s blue bike with the ugly bar across the middle. I hated that bar! This was also my fist encounter of bike envy.

The thing is...boy’s bike or girls...I still remember the day I had wheels! I could go places on my very own. This was my first taste of real freedom. I had control over something without having an adult peering over my shoulder.
I remember well that first bike trip to the little town where I could get a forbidden Coke and candy bar and pass it off as a trip to the library. Not that it was a lie I did go to library I just stopped for the treats before!

And the thing is this feeling of freedom still comes when I ride a bike. Okay, I have a car but there’s something about the openness of a bike, the no need for gas and that the way you get somewhere is under your own steam. I now have a girl’s bike...an old one I got thirty-years ago but the basket is new. Fact is, I got the basket when I went biking on Mackinac Island with my daughter.

Mackinac Island is made for biking! With no cars it’s the best biking ever. You are king...or queen...on a bike on Mackinac because you are the fastest thing around. There are no cars and no matter how show you are, you’re faster than the horses!

In Geared for the Grave Evie Bloomfield takes over the failing bicycle shop though she’s from Chicago and never ridden a bike. She also tries to find a killer though she can’t find her keys in her purse.

So what about you? Did you have a bike growing up? What kind was it? Fond memories? Do you ride a bike now? Let me know about you and your bike and I’ll give away three Geared for the Grave totes.

Happy peddling.
Hugs, Duffy

Geared for the Grave
First book in Cycle Path mysteries
December 2
Berkley Prime Crime
www.DuffyBrown.com



36 comments:

mary kennedy said...

You have inspired me to drag my bike out of the garage and get new tires and a tune-up! I used to love to go bike-riding, a great place to think of new plots and characters and enjoy this almost-Indian summer weather.

Rebecca Prazak said...

My first bike was a little pink bike I bought off my neighbor after he ran over his tennis shoes with the lawn mower
rjprazak6@gmail,com

Mary Jane Maffini said...

You're on a roll, Duffy! We're headed into winter in Canada, but next spring, I'll see you on the road. XO MJ

Anonymous said...

At 74 years, I still remember learning to ride my two-wheel bike. I was so afraid of falling and made sure my uncle was still holding on to the back wheel cover as I pedaled. He kept saying "You can do it!" I was thrilled until I looked back and he was standing down the road. I wobbled and he yelled "You're doing it!" I still smile. You used the perfect word - freedom. It was a girl's bike, and I don't think that would have mattered at the time. It was learning to ride. It was a taste of confidence. Thank you for picking this topic. A great memory! Zena Weldon

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Mary. I need to get on my bike more often too!! So much fun exp this time of year.

Duffy Brown said...

Oh Rebecca, that is too funny. Least his feet weren’t in the shoes.

Duffy Brown said...

They are talking snow here by Friday. Lord help me, I am so not ready for snow!!!

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Zena. What a great memory indeed. Riding a bike gave me a lot of confidence too, that I could go out on my own under my own steam. Thanks for sharing.

Diane Vallere said...

Duffy,
I used to love riding around the neighborhood with my friend. Such a feeling of power, having that bike! I think it represented more in terms of freedom than I've ever felt since learning to drive!

katherine is love said...

I loved riding my bike as a kid! I still remember when my mom would let me ride my bike by myself around our block (we lived out in the country so there were no safe sidewalks for me to ride on, just road). I felt so grown up. I haven't been on a bike in a number of years, but I still clearly remember the joy of riding your bike down a big hill and feeling the wind hitting your face...time stops when you feel that kind of happiness.

Hmm...I may have to get myself a bike again!

Anonymous said...

My first bike was cobbled together by my dad. He found a frame somewhere, wheels and tires someplace else, fenders (yes, fenders) and handlebars someplace else. I was 10 when "Santa" brought me my first "store bought". It was a very mild winter so I rode it on Christmas Day.

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

Oh, How I wanted a bike. We lived on a busy road and my father would not let me have one. I tried to learn how to ride my friend's bike but almost wrecked it, so that was the end of that. I still can't ride one.

Katreader said...

I haven't ridden a bike in years-but when I was a kid...we'd ride all over. I remember one bike I had was purple with a banana seat!

Laura W said...

My first bike was a tricycle which I parked in the neighbor's drive only to be backed over by said neighbor. Because I had been warned over and over about where NOT to park my bike, I was horrified and decided to hide my crippled bike so my mom and dad would never know. Hid it behind the furnace. I know dumb, dumb. Really got "the lecture" when dad found it. Never will forget that!!! At least it didn't keep me from biking all through my adult years until I needed to have a hip replaced. I loved that biking could be fun whether with a group or all alone. And the freedom too. Great post Duffy.

Linda Rima said...

My first "big" (26 ") was actually a used bike that my dad bought for $5.00 & repaired/repainted. I got it for Christmas. I thought it was brand new!! For years. Until Dad let the truth slip out one evening.

Lynda Turpin said...

Unfortunately, I don't have fond memories of riding bikes. As a kid, only my brother had a bike (I had street skates). One of the few times he let me ride his bike, I was riding around a raised "flower bed" in the middle of a large driveway. My sister wanted to ride the bike, so she tossed a brick in front of me. Unfortunately, the "flower bed" I landed in was actually a cactus garden. My dad and a neighbor spent days trying to get as many stickers and spines out of me as they could. Then, as an adult, I agreed (once) to go bike riding with some friends. One of the others was playing around and ended running into me and I went flying (I lost a LOT skin). Needless to say - I prefer walking to riding.

Lynn in Texas said...

Ouch, Linda T! I have fond memories of riding bikes. All 3 of us kids got 'em for Xmas one year when I was around 8 or 9 yrs. old. Mine was a beautiful blue Schwinn, brother's was a red one, and baby bro's was a red tricycle. We lived in the suburbs of New Orleans at the time, and a few months after getting our bikes we had a hurricane which left our street flooded. Silly baby bro pedaled his trike madly down the driveway into the flooded street, against Mom's scoldings NOT to get into flood waters, and I had to rescue him to not only keep him from drowning but to not incur Mom's wrath! Ah, good times, lol. But I had that bike and rode it alone and with pals for many years! Such a wonderful sense of freedom!

Jan Chaple Johnson said...

I got my first bike for Christmas when I was 7 (60 years ago!). My parents were also frugal & it was a full sized female adult bike with wooden blocks on the petals so I could reach them & still sit on the seat. It took me forever to learn to ride that thing! But once I did it became freedom indeed. I rode it until I was in high school - probably quit in 10th grade. I am now thinking about getting a 3-wheeler in my old age - well, maybe next spring.

lavendersbluegreen said...

Oh yes, I loved my bike. I had the typical trike and a kiddie bike with training wheels, then without, then back on they went for my sisters.... but eventually I got to pick out my 1st real bike! I actually wanted that boy style 10 speed more than anything! We biked everywhere! Unfortunately a little over a year ago my bike was stolen and I just have not replaced it... it needs to happen for next summer though. My niece is all excited about her bike and I just know that biking to the library will be our weekly thing!

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Diane
Riding with friends is the best. We used to meet up at the corner and ride into town for cokes and ice cream. Great memories!

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Katherine. I think it was my first taste of feeling grown up too. Get a bike! The feeling of freedon never ends. Hugs, Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Your dad made you a bike! I am totally impressed. What a great dad!! So nice that you still remember riding on Chirstmas day. :-)

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Diane. You are just like Evie Summerside in the book! She’s from Chicago, never learned to ride and is now running a bike shop. Busy streets are no place for a bike…that’s why we have to go to Mackinack Island. LOL

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Kat! You had one of those truly neat bikes. Lucky you. And it is true about not forgetting how to ride. I got on mine after many years and just peddled off. Thanks for chatting. Hugs, Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Hi Laura. I’m so sorry your bike got run over…thank the Lord you weren’t on it!!
That you went on to bike for many years is true fun. I still get a kick out of riding mine! Hugs to you. Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Linda. What a great dad!!! Those are the gifts of the heart.

Duffy Brown said...

Holy cow, Lynda!!! Horrible stories indeed. I am so sorry. Yes, walk! Bikes can be so dangerous. Yikes!!
Thanks for chatting. Hugs, Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Lynnn!! What a scarey story about the hurricane! I can only imagine. You are indeed a hero to fish your brother out of the water! Yikes! So glad you have some fun memories of biking. Nothing more run than riding with friends. Hugs, Duffy

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Jan. We are the same age and I’m still riding too. Sound like your parents were as frugal as mine. Great memories indeed. I rode till I could drive and even beyond. Still love that bike.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi Lavender. I am so sorry someone stole your bike. I got one of those cable things with the combination lock as some people will take anything! Let me know what kind of new bike you get and peddling off to the library with your niece is a great idea. Next summer promises to be tons of fun!! BTW…get a basket…and maybe a bell. LOL

Duffy Brown said...

Thanks for chatting and all the great stories about biking.
Anyone who chatted and wants a Geared for the Grave tote just email DuffyBrown@DuffyBrown.com with your mailing address and I’ll send on along. Hugs, Duffy

Annette N said...

There were 5 of us. We would get on our bikes and ride for many miles. The best place was a cemetery with swans in the pond. It was beautiful, and we would picnic and watch the swans and the clouds and grass grow. Sometimes we would ride all the way to Lake Michigan. No one knew exactly where we were, because we did not exactly tell anyone. It was lovely and we all felt very mature - after all we were all 10 or 11. Today, none of that would be possible.

Robert Giddings said...

I grew up in Kalamazoo, rode to South Haven. Kids can't do that now days

Robert Giddings said...

We lived on our bikes all summer long, riding to the library or to swimming hole, some 30 miles to Lake Michigan. I had a paper route. I stopped in to admire new bikes at the local shop. The owner who had no idea who I was told me if I promised to make a payment the 3 months he'd let me take the new bike home that day. That simple act of trust taught me so much.

lavendersbluegreen said...

When I was writing this I totally remembered my basket and bell from looong ago and was just thinking about how MackMonkey (that's what I call her) and I can get little matching ones! Off to plan our Halloween - I got her the cutest costume (made by a friend)!!! So fun.

Sue Farrell said...

I remember getting a bike and just starting to learn to ride it when we had to move to Alaska. There we lived on the side of a mountain---so I never got another bike in my childhood. I tried to learn to ride later as an adult and it was an epic fail.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com