Like Riding a Bike / Como Conducir Una Bici

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

SAN GERALDO ASKED me today which was considered better exercise, walking or bicycling. I was so proud of him for not gagging on the word “exercise.” He’s not buying a bicycle but the question made me take a stroll down Memory Lane. I’m missing one photo of my father on a tricycle when he was a little boy. I scanned it and put it somewhere “safe.” I hope to share it soon. It’s priceless.

SAN GERALDO ME preguntó hoy que se consideró mejor ejercicio, caminar o andar en bicicleta. Estaba tan orgulloso de él por no haber amordazado con la palabra “ejercicio”. Él no está comprando una bicicleta, pero la pregunta me hizo dar un paseo por el camino del recuerdo. Me falta una foto de mi padre en un triciclo cuando era un niño pequeño. Lo escaneé y lo puse en algún lugar “seguro”. Espero compartirlo pronto. No tiene precio.

MY FATHER, SCHWABACH, GERMANY, AUGUST 1947.
MI PADRE, SCHWABACH, ALEMANIA, AGOSTO 1947.

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 1954. ON MY SISTER DALE’S TRICYCLE.
EN EL TRICICLO DE MI HERMANA DALE.

SG’S FATHER AND UNCLE (ON THE HANDLEBARS), EARLY 1930S.
EL PADRE DE SG Y EL TÍO (EN LOS MANILLARES), AL PRINCIPIO DE LOS AÑOS 1930.

SG’S WONDERFUL MOTHER, ALICE, 1940S. / LA MADRE EXCEPCIONAL DE SG, ALICE, AÑOS 1940.
ME ON DALE’S HAND-ME-DOWN BIKE IN 1961. AT LEAST I HAD MY OWN CONVERSE HI-TOP SNEAKERS! / ESTOY EN LA BICICLETA DE SEGUNDA MANO DE DALE EN 1961. ¡AL MENOS TENGO MI PROPIA ZAPATILLOS HIGH-TOP DE CONVERSE!
1985. WITH SAN GERALDO; 34 MILES ROUNDTRIP FROM GEORGETOWN. EXERCISE CAN BE FUN. / CON SAN GERALDO; 34 MILLAS DE VIAJE IDA Y VUELTA DE GEORGETOWN. EL EJERCICIO PUEDE SER DIVERTIDO.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

33 thoughts on “Like Riding a Bike / Como Conducir Una Bici”

  1. SG’s mom looks like the model in the billboard ad!! What a photo!
    I, too, got my sister’s bicycle before I got my own ‘boy’s bike’. Wish I had known about that bar going across on the boy’s !!! Learned very quickly I tell you!! lol
    Seems like cycling ran in SG’s family….time to get some I’d say.

  2. I love these. They’ve gotten me a little melancholic though. I’ve often wondered, in my spare wonderings, why they put bars on boys’ bikes. I mean, the vulnerable fun parts on a male are on the outside, so what gives and why am I asking you? 🙂

  3. I think there is only one photo of my father on his bike in the late 1930s, someone stole the bike, and I don’t think he ever got over the loss. I have the first full size bike, my mother bought me when I was about 10, a red Schwinn Typhoon.

    1. Bob,
      Yeah, our legs are insured for millions. We bought bikes when we lived in Marina del Rey and would ride the beach bike path up and down the coast. Amazing. Then DC and Rock Creek Park. Never the same after that.

  4. What a wonderful set of bicycle family photos! Makes me want to go through my photos and see what I can come up with too.

    Girls’ bikes don’t have the bar so that we don’t need to swing our legs out behind us to mount the bike, but can demurely just lift our leg through the gap to the other pedal in a ladylike fashion. This arose when all females wore skirts, of course. No showing our bums and panties to the world!

    1. That’s terrific, Debra! I did not know this and it makes sense. However, since one does not ride a bike by sitting only, what sadistic personage made that bar for men’s bikes? I’m thinking it’s the same person who invented corsets and bras and other such torture devices. I could be wrong 🙂

    1. Kenosha,
      He re-enlisted, to my mother’s dismay. He would have made a career of it if not for her. The Army even wrote to try to convince her. Your father told me that story about 10 years ago. It was news to me. But we checked my father’s war records and timeline and, although he saw major combat and received lots of medals, he wasn’t there for that battle.

  5. A technical answer on why the top bar, is frame ridgeitity and weight. The top bar forms a strong triangle. The get the same stiffness without the top bar, requires extra reinforcement around the bottom bracket (crank.) Men generally weigh more than women, making the added frame strength desireable.

  6. The pictures of your dad in uniform and all the old photos are amazing!!! You are so lucky to have such great history in your hands with these pictures.
    My favorite bike was a pink huffy but it was built rugged like a boys bike. I was able to keep up with all the boys in neighborhood on my bike. I would have to dig to see if I have any photos.

    1. hollihd:
      Jerry and I both have so many historic family photos. The only photos I wish I had were old ones from my maternal grandparents. One of my cousins took all those and clearly won’t be sharing them with anyone! Groan…

  7. Girl’s bikes are different than boy bikes? It’s been so long I guess I forgot. I vaguely remember the term “sissy bar”, and as insecure as I was about my masculinity, or lack thereof, growing up, wouldn’t have wanted such a thing on my bike, whatever it was.

    1. Kirk:
      The “sissy” bar was lower than the bar on a boy’s bike. If you ever slipped off the seat on your new boy’s bike and landed on the bar, you would never forget the difference!

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