Riding a bike with my dad…

I’m thinking now of my childhood
Of Dinky toys and a bright shiny trike
I travelled for miles going nowhere
On that beautiful three-wheeled bike.
It even had a boot on the back
Like a bread bin between the wheels
That I used to fill with books and toys
Only opened to best friend’s appeals.
The bike was bright red and I loved it
I raced round on it every day
Until that time when I was just too big
And the bike was taken away.
I missed that old red tricycle
It had been my companion for a while
But the two-wheeled cycle that Dad got
Soon turned my lips up in a smile.
It was a second-hand bike and quite grown-up
Hand-painted the darkest maroon
And I rode it for miles, this time with my dad
But it’s fun-giving days went too soon.
My next bike was blue, and a racer
Derailleur gears numbered ten
I wanted to ride out again with my dad
But he’d cycled his last before then.
My dad rode a bike for the whole of his life
Yet he never reached fifty-three
When I’m on a bike now, cycling along
I think of him riding with me.

©Joe Wilson – Riding a bike with my dad…2015

The little red bike…

Just a little bit too big to be mine, but similar (1956)
Just a little bit too big to be mine, but similar (1956)

 

With legs pumping like mad, eager to keep up
While his pedals went around very slow
He ambled along giving me exercise
“Would you like me to slow down a bit Joe?”

But I pedalled along with all of my might
And I was keeping up, at least I thought
But an L-driver outside the driving school
Opened his door and brought me up short.

Into the road I flew off my little red bike
But a hand grabbed me and halted my fall
I think it was the L-driver who caught me
He had a handlebar moustache I recall.

Well they all made a fuss about something
And to the hospital I was told I must go
But the thing was I’d lost sight of my father
They watched amazed as I shot off shouting “No!”

In a time like forever I found my father
He was sitting, looking back, one foot down
As I raced up and sat still behind him
His faced changed from smiling to a frown.

It seems that my face was all covered in blood
I was desperate to catch up I didn’t realise
As he leapt off his bike and wrapped his arms round me
I said “Dad! Why are there tears in your eyes?”

The driver’s door had caught me just under the eye
I’d a gash of some length underneath
Being just seven years old I didn’t know why
Dad’s tears were his show of relief.

 

©Joe Wilson – The little red bike… 2014

When I wrote this I was thinking about my Dad. He never cycled with me too much. He became ill soon after I was born and died when I was just twelve.
I loved him so very much.