26 April 2007

What does the word "bike" mean to you?

I got an email from my son Seth today. It is interesting how he uses the word bike compared to me.

"Hi dad, thanks for the email. Everything here is fine, I am working at the
bike shop full time and Amber goes to class, so our days are pretty busy."

Now before all my bike buddies start sending me requests for cheap bike spares I believe Seth means a Motorbike shop. I am careful to use the word bike around bike buddies only, less someone think I am riding a motorbike around.

(I just had a thought, when people see the title of this blog, do some think this is a motorbike blog?)

I bought Seth a mountain bike when he moved out to Tanzania in 7th grade to live with Bernice and I . I bought it so I didn't have to drive him to school 8 km away each way. No school bus!! Shows you what kind of school it is. The teachers thought I was crazy. He was the only kid who rode a bicycle to the Moshi International School, rain or shine. To Seth's credit he didn't complain. Seth enjoyed the freedom it gave him after school to visit friends and come home when he wanted. I had my own selfish reasons for him having a bike.

It was this bicycle that got me back into bicycling after I left my Peugeot PX10e in the USA when I moved to Tanzania in 1977. When I started making money in 1982 I bought a motorbike. Yeah I know. It was for commuting but we also zipped all over masailand both for work and checking out the bush. I tried a Indian made Phoenix bicycle about the same time but the dirt roads were so rough, and thorns so many I gave up on it.

Seth was using his bicycle everyday and it wasn't until he went to visit his Mom in Minnesota in 1995 that I got to use his bike for a month. The first ride was up the slopes of Mt Meru to the planted forest. I had to push the last km or so and laid down to rest in the forest. It was half a day excursion. Now I ride that in 70 minutes before work as a short training ride. I started to ride to work the 5km.

Alas Seth came back in time for school and hogged the bike.

Then somehow my buddy Steve Friberg gave me a 2nd hand bike sold by a Medical student. That was the bike that changed my life, commuting and health wise.

Anyway back to Seth and the meaning of "bikes". He went off to boarding school and biking got relegated to weekends, and then Naomi bought him a motorbike and the bicycle gathered dust mostly. Then he moved to the USA for college and got more into motoX.

But not all is lost as Seth goes on to say in today's email:
"It is finally starting to warm up here so I can ride my mountain bike to work now which is nice for the exercise and nice on the checkbook because I am not using any gas. Its funny that people keep asking me if I had my Drivers License taken away so I have to ride my bike, they can't imagine that I would be riding for fun. Its about 10 miles from my apartment to work, so its a nice little ride."

Good on you mate!
Note, bike to him is motorbike. Bike to me is bicycle but he says mountain bike.

Too bad he has to explain to others why he rides the bicycle to work, and it doesn't fit into their perception of bicycles. See my posting Why I didn't commute everyday about my own issues explaining with commuting.

And here he is :
I am really proud of him.

Lest his sister complain about unequal air time. His sister likes to ride also, but not to school yet. She does give her friend Mariamu rides though.

1 comment:

  1. Byrna7:26 am

    Well, looks like there are 2 chips off the old block. You can be proud of them both.