Learning to ride a bike
Can you remember learning how to ride a bike? I can. I was about 8 or 9 years old. Some older boys living a couple of houses up had bicycles and they offered to teach me to ride.
It took an entire afternoon and some abrasions to the palms of my hands and to my knees. It wasn’t entirely successful, I needed a few goes.
I got a bike for my birthday
It wasn’t long after I learnt to ride that I was begging Mum and Dad for a bicycle. It took a couple of years but when I was 12 I got a bike for my birthday. It was a fluorescent lime green dragster. That was the style in the day. It had high rise Angel bars, a black banana seat, and a three-speed gear system along with calliper brakes on both the wheels.
It wasn’t long before I started modifying it. In 1977, bicycle motocross (BMX) was making its way into Australia. I started with changing the forks, handlebars and seat to something not so 1970s and more practical. The next change were those yellow nylon tuff wheels. I started with the rear wheel which meant removing the gear system and installing a coaster braking mechanism. Soon I had a new front wheel too. The big change occurred when I saved enough money for a chromium molybdenum Mongoose™ frame. It was a dark metallic blue colour.
It’s a pity I don’t have any photographs from that era. You’d see me with shoulder length hair, really dark skin and a bicycle transformation that confused, annoyed and at times angered my mother and father. They had bought me a bike. It was a perfectly good bike. The purchase and receipt of that bike meant I was formally allowed to ride on the streets, spend a day in the bush with my mates, and play in traffic. Having something of my own, gave me a sense that I could really make it my own by modifying it and doing things to it.
It marked the beginning of how I would look at other possessions. My second car was a good example.
Learn to ride centre
Why am I writing all this crap? The ACT Government, our national capital’s local council if you will, has recently installed a Learn to Ride Centre near an ‘adventure playground’ on Lake Ginninderra in the town centre of Belconnen on the north side of Canberra. It’s taken months to build. For the life of me, I can’t understand why construction projects big or small in Canberra take so long. In any other state or territory capital, you don’t see things like this taking so long. In other countries, it wouldn’t be tolerated. Who knows? Perhaps it’s the curmudgeon in me coming out.
I hope this Learn to Ride Centre gets well used, this morning I only saw a couple walking their dog through it. At one stage the dog emptied its bladder on a pathway. No kids on bicycles though.
In other news
The cows in the top paddock on Lake Ginninderra amuse me. I like visiting them and saying hello.
Have you tried this app? I’m not sure if it’s available on Android but I am using it on iOS. You can adjust the level of profanity, and it has voice capability too. The so-called Australian voice is a little lame though.
Autumn trees in winter
Bollards in Lake Ginninderra
Streaming light over Lake Ginninderra
Medical Fun Facts
Monday night I’m doing a show on how we squeezed vaginal juice from tampons back in Darwin.
The show drops at 7 pm Canberra time on Monday 2017-06-19! Go to https://drgarylum.com/search and search for episode 71 after Monday night. It would be great if you subscribed to the show.
Click on the infographic after 2017-06-19 1900 AEST and get taken to the blog post
Check out these other posts
Are you feeling hungry?
Last night I made chilli chicken wings with ginger, honey and soy.
Click on the infographic and get taken to the recipe