Friday, October 16, 2009

Starting out

I suppose I should introduce myself. When I was a kid, I lived on a hill in an area of Toronto called The Beaches. I used to hate that hill - it always tired me out. I remember helping my mom carry grocery bags up from the grocery store, fingers aching from the plastic handles digging in. I would get so winded. Man I used to whine so much. I remember that, whining to my mom to wait for me.

I had a tricycle that I used to love riding down that hill. I used to stop it by dragging my toes behind me, until one day my feet got caught under the rear plank and dragged my knees into the sidewalk. My first road rash. Mom applied iodine, and though it hurt like blazes, I still use that stuff today.

I finally got my first bike, a red BMX with yellow tires, at age 9. I tried so hard to ride up that hill. I tried every day. My house was halfway up that hill and I did it after a while. Soon I was counting down the number of houses left to the top - 7, 6, 5, 4...and then, I finally rounded the corner, up at Kingston Rd.

Things were so different back then. My neighbours were elderly, and very much friendly and warm to talk to. I remember the 5 cents I would get by shoveling their sidewalk in the winter, and the cold pop from their fridge in the summer. I've moved away to Ottawa since, and from my visits there now, things are very different, very expensive and very egotistical.

I used to ride my little BMX as fast as I could make those 20" tires go, through Ashbridge's Bay Park, and to the tip of Leslie St. Spit on weekends. I would wave to everyone as I wizzed along with my big black rimmed "Top Gun" Rayband knockoffs.

And so the hill became less of a challenge, until one day, some guy on a road bike blew past me. On my hill. I was hooked. I had to get a speed bike. I was 13.

1 comment:

  1. Well that's just charming! That's quite a list of labels too... "road rash" as a blog tag... that'd make an interesting list of blog entries on technorati or whatever. Anyway, fun blog you! Will be keeping an eye out...