“I was a small child with a pure heart
I had my dream bike
And everything seemed right
I turned sixteen and everything was fine
I had a life ahead of me …”
(Kostas Makedonas, Greek singer)
The bike anthem, my song every time I think of bikes and of course every time I want to cheer up. My bike, my wings since I was a little kid … Yes, the bike gives wings to young and old ones, as long as you long for it (the “wings” ended up in the wrong ad)! It’s also the only word not mentioned in the lyrics, but it’s my bike word. So, my relationship with the bike starts from toddlers:
I remember very clearly that when I was 6 years old, at nursery school, on my birthday my parents considered me capable (a very important element for my family!) to learn to ride a bike. So, suddenly my dad appeared in front of me with my first bike… A new bike, burgundy, with auxiliaries, suitable, as they thought at the time, to pedal down but also to be able to finish primary school with it, since I was a very tall kid at school!!! 😊 and of course as a dowry should go to my little brother!!! This is what parents were thinking when they invested in a bicycle, because my dears, a bicycle is an investment for the Greek family!
The bike arrived and without knowing that I would receive such a gift, it was as if I felt that eventually I was going to have my O W N bike!!!!! At that time, my mom had a shop -magazi in greek-, in the center of the village, near the square and across from us, since we were in the shop all day, there was a coffee shop, nowadays a pastry shop, with a large yard (dirt below on the ground) where I went for my first “ride” on my little bike.
I got the first tips and instructions to remove the auxiliary wheels from my dad, who of course taught me only one time, he removed one wheel first, he told me that we should also remove the other one since I’m not tripping out of balance and voor!! As you can understand I had to excel immediately and make my parents feel proud of their “pride”! After a few days in this yard, I had to move away, which means to go to the square of the village, which was made of cement, and in the middle had a dirt floor almost circular which made it the most suitable place to get away and “eat your face” – fall down- too…. At this point, to fall down, everyone “does” at some point, the father’s instruction was: -be careful while falling down and don’t be afraid to get up and ride again! [Well done, father!!!! They were indeed the most appropriate words to acquire the relationship I have with the bike and for that I entrusted my children to you to teach them in turn!] Ah, if I finally fell down… I fell down slightly… very slightly. I always tried to go for a bike ride when there weren’t many kids around… hours until the others came and I always tried to “listen” to my bike: if it could handle the road, its brakes, etc.
So, when I got taller (kind of) I had to give it as a dowry to my brother and go to a bigger one… Much bigger… With a bar in the middle… Masculine… Tragic… What an amazing investment that was too!!! Family bike type, that could go to the brother and if he got bored, the dad could ride it too. I didn’t tell you about my mother, who didn’t ride a bike, but much after I got older, she bought one with three wheels, yes, indeed! And she used to carry her grandchildren with it too (there are solutions for everything). I got to ride this tragic bike all through first three years at high school, in Seladi mountain, in the 80s… You will not understand what I’m talking about! Mountain, dirt road, nowadays this road is the peripheral of my village Prinos, uphill, downhills, small rocks and big rocks, the tragic bike, in olive color, the petit girl and the railing in the middle…. But every day, with rain and once with a little snow, me on the bike: I had to be taken to the circus (just thought about it).
On this bike, that I rode at least three years, I was upright! Big this, little me, a solution had to be found: standing up to be able to control it and even jumping down… well, make it a picture! There’s more, I was going up the hills and going down them at high speed, hmm I dared it! And suddenly, a new bike with speeds pops up at the last years of high school! Here we are!!! That was a proper bike! supposedly my brother’s, he hadn’t any new one until then. And a new relationship with cycling began: no more Seladi Mountain! In the center of the village, outside the village, halfway to Kazaviti Village… “I had my dream … my bike and everything seemed right!”
At some point and while I was a student we lost the bike with the gears, we were left with the big one which supposed to be for men’s and much later I got that pink bike (I was a woman by then, I must had had a repelled desire to own a bike which clearly shouted out: I’m a girl!) It’s in the warehouse nowadays, my dad takes care of it – the bicycle manager he is – who keeps asking me for the last few years: – when will you take it to Golden Beach?
Finally, Dad! I’ll get another bike!
“Dream, longing, joy…” the anthem of the bicycle! What lyrics – Aris Davarakis! What a music – Christos Nikolopoulos!