Bicycle Protector

As a kid we didn’t wear helmets or pads to ride our bikes. Some people paid attention to what they were doing and rode safely. Not me! I could set on my handlebars backwards and peddle, or ride a wheelie and spin my front handlebars around, or ride a wheelie from the entire length of our street. I crashed a lot. I met the bumpers of parked cars regularly but then I could do things other people couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Skateboards were new to me in the 70’s. I had a red one and like my first red bike, It was stolen. This was my purple bike, a 5 speed. It was too long to pull wheelies, I had to think up other things like ride my bike the way I did my skateboard. The bike was pretty straight, I could ride everywhere with no hands and have control of everything except stopping quick. My great idea was to stand up on my bike with one foot on the seat and the other on the frame behind the handlebars and ride it like a skateboard. Leaning the bike against our fence I had to figure out how to coordinate the motion from sitting to standing and I thought I had it. That’s until I tried it. After about 10 attempts and 3 wipe outs I finally stood up for about 5 house lengths. Then I hit the only little pothole on the street. Flying forward my bike went up into my neighbors yard. What I really remember was the way I landed. It was like an invisible net caught me. I got up without a scratch. I had been injured worse by smaller things. I should have broke a bone or had a road rash on my face. But nothing happened.
I had a new bike. A green 10 speed. I was riding to the park with my basketball. I did this a lot. I would jamb my basketball into the frame as I rode along. Cutting a turn too sharp the ball fell off. I stopped and turned around to chase it as it headed towards the street storm drain. Being the daredevil instead of stopping I would keep riding and scoop it up. My 10 speed had the really skinny tires, as I leaned down the side of my bike and reached for the ball, my skinny tires were stopped instantly by the wider opening of the street drain. Once again instead of landing face first onto a steel drain Something caught me before I hit. Except I did crack two ribs.
The same bike, the same summer, I was riding double with my friend Mike on the handlebars. We came up to the four way stop signs and could see there wasn’t any cars there so we kept going. It was like a blast of air from the left side knocked my bike into the curb just as we entered the intersection. Mike flew forward and his foot was ran over by a car that drove threw the intersection without stopping. Nothing happened to me but I remember the feeling of a spiderweb wrapped around my entire body and slowly letting go.
About ten years later my dad was selling his house so I brought this same bike home with me. I painted it and cleaned it up. I rode it a lot at the river and around the neighborhood. It always felt like someone was riding beside me. There was a ticking sound of another bike or a pebble would shoot sideways that I didn’t hit. One evening I took off for a riBicycleProtectorde on the back roads outside the neighborhood. There wasn’t any traffic, I was riding faster than normal and thought I would take the s-curves at full speed. I get all the way over into the left lane ready to lean into the curve and here comes a Chevy S-10 Pick-Up right at me. Hitting the brakes as I leaned sideways made the bike slide out from under me. The truck was screeching to avoid hitting me and once again, seeing a tire coming right at my face I get pulled away by the cobweb feeling. The bike was destroyed and I only had a few rocks in my leg.
I remembered this while walking the other day. The ticking sound of an unseen bicycle stayed up with me until I returned to my truck. I just wonder what I was being protected from this time.

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4 responses to “Bicycle Protector

  1. Great stories Mike. They bring back memories of my first bike…a balloon tired bike, if you know what they look like…before your time of course. They had thick tires and a thick bicycle frame. I sure did like that bike! I remember taking a few tumbles but nothing serious, just a scar on one knee.

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  2. Wow, it’s impressive you managed to walk away from so many accidents with minor injuries! Consider yourself lucky. I was cautious as a child but ended up being knocked unconscious after falling off my cousin’s bike when I was around ten. It was bad enough that I experienced temporary amnesia about the entire incident until I was told bits and pieces of what happened.

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  3. Seems like you made your choices…or they were made for you? You have had strong connection to Guidance/Intuition (or whatever else you might call it) for a long time – but from the stories I’ve seen on your blog, it’s not always been that great….although it is wonderful feeling protected that way, I am sure it wasn’t that easy for you as a child with those sensitivities…

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