Thursday, March 11, 2010

Out of the Way! Solo Ride 1960

Christmas Day 1960, cousin, Bobby, me, and brother, Rory posing with my first bike. I'm six and a half, over the previous several weekends, I practiced learning to ride on a bomb with training wheels that Dad borrowed from his friend on 83rd Street.
I begged for a new bike for Christmas. I got it.
Still a wobbly rider, I refused further training wheel assistance. Directly after this photo, Dad reluctantly let me take my first ride around the block by myself. I headed north towards 84th Street on York Avenue made a right at Mayo's and aimed my ride east towards East End Avenue. Felt a rush of wind behind me pushing me along. The last quarter of the block was down hill, I practiced on level ground and lacked judgement on how much brake to apply, I switched my focus to braking, all my focus, this caused me to miss spying the short lady with the pill box hat carrying the Christmas gifts up to her neck, by the time I saw her and yelled, "Out of the way!" Left with only one choice, I veered left and whacked the brown mailbox near the corner by the drugstore. I collapsed on my side into a sturdy pile of dog poop off the curb. Mom was not happy, Dad was not surprised.

I favor Westside rides, Dad and my route up to the bridge, it's only recently the south Hudson River trip is navigable without going back into traffic.

Here are a few photos of Central Park's Falconer, A Bass Player on the Mall, a Riverside Park tree in late sun, and the Jane Street Hotel formerly the Seaman's Institute, where Titanic crewmen survivors from the Carpathia were brought after their rescue in April 1912.


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