I have not been able to find exactly what I wanted for this post, but I think you will get the idea.
I grew up in a rural part of Baltimore County, and I don’t ever remember having or riding a trike. I remember having a four wheeled something. Not exactly a car, and not exactly a cart. This photo is the closest I could come up with though it is much bigger than the one I had. I know mine did not have a hand brake either. But it did have four wheels ;’-)
Most children seem to learn to ride a bicycle at around the age of 5 or 6. When I was just under 9 years old and still not riding a bike, my Dad said if I learned to ride he would buy me a new bike. Me being born a bit late in their lives, mine were older parents and less likely to be out in a field teaching a child to ride a bike. At least in that ancient day!
My only siblings were two sisters who were much older than I. Several (at least 5) of my cousins lived very close by and I had a favorite one who at the time was my best friend. John. When he learned of my Dad’s ‘deal’, John put me on his bike and, running along side of me, taught me to ride.
This photo is not the same as his bike, but as close as I could come up with.
John’s bike was older and not in nearly as good shape as this one. I was soon riding John’s bike and rode past my house to wave to Dad who was sitting on the porch. He was probably as proud as I was.
The next day, true to his word, my Dad arrived home with my new bike in the trunk (trunks were big back then!) of his car. A JC Higgins.
Again, this is not the exact bike I had, but comes fairly close to that one with horn in the down tube and a light on the front fender. And mine was blue. I don’t really recall my first solo ride, but more than likely it was to ride up to the store to get something my Mom needed. Long before anything like ‘panniers’ were even known about, my Dad bought me a ‘saddle bag’ so I could carry things with me. I felt pretty cool on this bike with saddle bag (I loved horses at that age and would often pretend this was my horse).
I have said, though I was late in learning to ride, I am probably riding much later in life than anyone I knew back then in my childhood. Thanks John, you were my hero. Well, you and my Dad! There are those who think they had the best dad in the world. Mine WAS the best dad in the world.