My cousin happened to post this photograph from Christmas 1959 of me sitting on my first tricycle at my grandparent’s home. I was barely two years old and from the picture, I obviously took a liking to my new three-wheeled contraption.
Receiving one’s first bicycle or tricycle is an important step in childhood growth and development. It provides self-mobility beyond just walking or crawling and helps establish some of the earliest stages of independence and courage. No longer is one strictly tied to holding Mom and Dad’s hand.
While I was too young to have any vivid memory of this handsome tricycle, I have very fond memories of each of my bicycles since then. The one that will always standout head and shoulders above the others was my blue Schwinn Stingray with the banana seat and removable plexiglas windshield. It was with my Stingray, also a Christmas gift, that I was first able to truly explore the world beyond the narrow confines of my subdivision street. I adored that bicycle and to this day can recall so many fun-filled adventures spent riding that bike.
Isn’t that exactly what a gift is supposed to be all about? Something that is not just a tangible item, but one that also has intangible benefits. In the case of a bicycle or tricycle, it is one’s first steps (or pedals) towards independence and self-awareness.
Forming an early bond with a bicycle also has the added reward of creating a life-long love affair with them. As we all know, once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget how to do so. Similarly, once you experience the absolute joy of riding a bicycle, no matter how young at heart you are, you will never forget that love and will carry it with you for all of your days to come. Namaste!