Summer vacation is a time for relaxing and experiencing new things. When I was a child, summertime was adventure time.
My mom worked and I had to entertain myself. Sure, she’d enroll me in an occasional art class or have a scheduled activity for me to do, but mostly I was on my own. All I had to do was complete my chores and the rest of the day was mine.
Most days, I’d ride my bicycle around town. Each morning, I’d challenge myself to take different routes, explore new neighborhoods, or venture further than I ever had before. Riding my bike was therapeutic. It offered me an escape from some of the difficulties that I experienced as a child. As I rode, I pretended to be a pilot, or a race car driver, or a famous explorer.
I was adept at avoiding traffic, eluding dogs, and scouting new territory. One of my journeys took me 20 miles away from my house (note: I was no more than 10 years old at the time). I was amazed by the size of the houses in the neighborhood. They were at least two to three times the size of mine. Riding through that community inspired me to work hard enough so I could afford to live in a neighborhood like that.
On the days that I was less adventurous, I’d build ramps and test my daredevil skills. Inevitably some of the other boys from the neighborhood would join in and someone would challenge us to a bike-jumping contest. The winner of the contest would be the person who could take the ramp and jump over the most boys with his bike. If you wanted to jump, you had to take your turn as the human obstacle. Our parents would not have approved of this activity, but we had fun and no one was injured permanently.
When we got tired of that, we’d have bike races around the neighborhood. We may not have had a lot of money, but our bikes represented freedom and we used them to make the most of our summer vacations…Read the rest of the article on my blog at Goldfish Smiles