I was twelve years old when I got my first bike. My sisters then aged 10 and 7 did too. Up until then we would try to ride Dads bike. We tried our darndest to ride that old cracking and faded, rusting, red-painted postal delivery bike, with the huge metal bracket for its box full of mail stuck to its handlebar. Dad thought she was a ripper, but I never actually saw him on it… Ever. So our first bikes weren’t what I was expecting. We got matching grey Mountain Bikes. All three identical and in my eyes butt fuck ugly! My Tom Boy sister thought hers was great. I thought mine was a bike, a bloody BOYS bike. This one thing that I’d always wanted, something I didn’t have and it had to turn out to be something I didn’t love. Why not a pink, girls one, with the coloured streamers on the handlebars, and multi-coloured clacking ring things on the wheel spokes? Perhaps a white basket on front and glitter handle bar grips. Like what all my friends had. Nope, not us. We get the matching boys Mountain Bikes. Delightful.
Although I didn’t love my Mountain Bike, I would still ride it. It had a screwed up gear thing on it with three levels. Level 1 : can’t fucking pedal it, it’s too hard. Level 2 : not too bad but still tough and exhausting and then there was level 3 : the pedal like fuck gear! You only had to knock that little lever that was always in the way and you would whack it out of second into gear snap your ankle. I got used to it. I had to. All three of us spent a bit of time on our bikes out on the block. Going on day trips down the hill to the little creek for a picnic, or racing up and down our dirt road. A particular favourite was tying them together. One behind the other. A piece of rope tied from under the seat of the first bike, to under the seat of the second bike and so forth for the third. A gap of about a meter separating us. We would communicate to each other by yelling. A practical solution yes? Who ever was leading had to direct the other two. Going right, slowing down, doing a U-turn, get faster… while using the universal sign language too. Right hand out for right, hand straight up for stop. You get my drift? We were experts until the day that one of my sisters, for the life of me I don’t know which one, forgot to tell the two behind her that she was stopping. HARD! We were flying down that dirt road. Going way too fast to stop suddenly. The whir of our tready tires scratching over the dirt. She slammed those brakes on creating a Mountain Bikes domino effect. I was the last one on the rope that day. I rammed straight into, up and over the other two bikes and bodies. It was the biggest tangle of rope, metal, handle bars, pedals, legs and arms your likely to ever see, unless your watching the cycling at the Olympics! Now, that would have been fine and dandy if we were on girls bikes wouldn’t it, but NOOOOO we are riding boys MOUNTAIN-FUCKING-BIKES. The triangle-shaped brace that held the handlebar onto the frame hit me fair and square in the vagina! Smashing into my pubic bone. Now I’m no prude, so turn away now if you are, but my fanny was black for a month! Good reason to hate a bike yes?
All the kids I hung around with, particularly the boys, loved my bike. I can understand why I guess, it’s a boys Mountain Bike. That thing hated me as much as I detested it and it bucked me off more than a few times. Most of the time they weren’t too serious except the time I was racing down to the local pool on it. No helmet of course back in the day. Burnin over the paths and gutters, and into some longer grass across and toward another path… WHACK. I flew over the handle bars doing a forward somersault in a pike position. I landed on my arse, every ounce of air was heaved from my body as my knee hit my chin, forcing my tooth straight through my lip and splitting my face under my chin. My front wheel had hit the lid of a telecom pit in the dirt. It was raised about 15cm up off the ground, hidden by the grass. Fuck my life! It’s stinkin hot, I’m winded like buggery and now I’ve gotta go home instead of the pool, walking this motherfucking bike beside me because the fucking wheel is bent!
Safe to say, I no longer own that bike. It was given to one of my cousins. I like the idea of a bike and I’ve owned one since, but it rusted… I hate them. They hurt your arse and they really fucking suck when you have a head wind. Exercising on them I compare to childbirth; labour-some, painful and similar to an episiotomy. They’re my nemesis. Nothing good comes from them in my world and probably even in my youngest sisters world, but that story I’ll leave for another day.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!