Let me setup a little background. Years ago when I lived in Hannibal, MO, they would have Citywide Clean-ups where you could bring any amount of yor junk and drop it off for free. It was a way to cleanup the city from unwanted junk that has a tendency to pile up. On that day I happened to be there with my father in law tossing stuff into that back of a garbage truck when someone came around the side with an old Schwinn bike. As they had it hoisted over their head about to send it into the bowels of compacted terrors, it caught my eye. I asked them what was wrong with it. Apparently it had a flat tire! My hands quickly latched onto this new found treasure promptly after I asked their permission to take it. I took it home and aired up the tire. That was it. Everything else worked. Each year after being cooped up in the garage all winter it will need to get some more air deposited into it’s tube. But it still rides fine. She’s a beauty. In the photo, I’m sitting on it giving my best impression of someone who has muscles.
Fast forward to today. My kids are out riding bikes and I decide to take old lady Schwinn out for a spin. As I was peddling along, memories of childhood activities involving rubber tires skidding across concrete sidewalks came flooding back to me. So I decided to relive them. I took off down the sidewalk at a decent pace and then right in front of our house I kicked the pedals backwards to engage the brakes. At that moment with the screeching of the tires echoing throughout the neighborhood and the aroma of burning rubber filling the air, the first stroke of my newest creation was laid down.
With the exposure of new methods of creating artwork, one can be met with bemoaning criticism or, in my case, the neighborhood kids can come flocking like the ice cream man was giving out free treats.
The questions came flying. “What are you doing?” & “How did you do that?” were the responses as they gazed upon the canvas of this new piece of art. It had begun. As I proceeded to lay down about a dozen more strokes, I had fellow budding artists attempt to contribute. The beauty of the bike is that it has no brakes attached to the handlebar but they are tied to the crank. With a little speed and a quick kick to the brake and your in skidding heaven. They struggled with trying to replicate the same move with their newer bikes.
In the end we all posed for the moment of completion photo. It was a joy to relive some of my childhood with my children and their friends.