I grew up on the back of a bike, riding in a plastic seat strapped to the back of a 1970’s Schwinn 3-speed, if I remember correctly. My parents would ride my sister and I around the neighborhood, which was a bunch of trailers spread out along a road I can’t believe was paved. It was good living back in the day, when I had the freedom to wander across the fields to my friend’s house to watch the Star-Spangled Banner play on television when network television came on first thing Saturday morning before cartoons. Before that though, I saw the world from the back of the bicycle, and legend has it I spoke all things I saw into being. When one parent couldn’t take it anymore they would stop and switch. Did they switch bicycles, or just us children? I don’t remember this displeasing me. I was happy to have a new audience to whom I could explain all of the wonders of the world through my toddler eyes. I still like to talk on bike rides.


9 Responses to Shotgun

  1. Wow! I had completely forgotten about networks going off the air, for the late nights, and returning before my Scooby Doo.

    There’s a picture floating around my Mom’s, that has me sitting in a basket on the front of my Grandmother’s bike. She apparently took great joy in piloting us around the yard. She died when I was barely old enough to remember. I have flashes of short scenes with her, but that’s about it. Maybe it’s her fault I’m so engrossed in two wheels.

  2. the back hub of my mom’s freespirit sucked up my shoe laces once; that was a terrifying moment in the back basket days.

  3. The streets were not paved and in fact were wash-boarded. Sorry we didn’t have padding on the bike seats nor shocks on the bikes. 😉

  4. My dad — the one who’s stick-like from fighting cancer these days — used to ride me up the monster hill in Central Park (shout out to NYC, y’all) hundreds of times, via the kiddie seat (basically a plank with a plank back and a strap) buckled to the back of his classic 89-pound Raleigh three-speed upright. All I knew of bicycling at that age was that all views include Dad’s popo. It was terrific being ferried about, doing none of the work.

  5. wow, memories of being on bikes as a child. alot of mine are nightmares because i would always be on the handle bars of GM’s bike. he would ghost ride me all the time. or there was that mean ass three legged dog that would always chase me, he sure was fast.

    thanks juancho

  6. “ghost riding”- the act of leaving the saddle, rendering the bike pilotless.

    needless to say when you are riding the handlebars, it is difficult to steer said bike for very long. i would usually just jump off and try to escape the carnage of the steel bike crumpling to the ground.

    when we were younger in college we used to “ghost ride” our campus bike into the bushes next to the Bellamy building.

  7. I saw your brother ghost ride onto two unsuspecting frat boys by the Bellamy building. He didn’t do it on purpose and he picked them both up and dusted them off.