Friday, November 4, 2011

Winning Entry: The day I fell in love with my bike

Believe it or not, I got 52 entries for the writing contest: The day I fell in love with my bike.

Everyone had outstanding stories, but there was something really special about this one, and I hope you agree. Congratulations to Ron Shepard for his entry, and thanks for participating, everyone!

Ron has $140 to spend at the POC store!

A letter from an uncle to his nephew:

September 10, 2010

Dear Myles,

Along with this letter, you will find a very special toy; I hope you will enjoy it. You will have many cherished toys in your life, but somehow your bike will always be different.

Your bike is a tool for your imagination; it can be a horse, a motorcycle, a race car, or a fighter plane, and any ole’ place can become a cobblestone path on the Tour de’ France, or the rocky landscape of a distant planet.

Your bike is your first simple independence; it allows you to go places, to explore, and to venture forth. Every bike rider I know has a memorable ride from their childhood, and yours are all just ahead.

You will see that biking begins as a challenge, then an accomplishment, and then an escape. Your bike can become a conduit for un-cluttered thinking, an outlet for pent-up energy, and a form of expression; not quite like dancing, much more like flying. Learn to be your bikes care-giver (it is a wonderful thing to retire a bicycle that you have lovingly maintained), and while you practice mechanical reasoning upon it, it will teach you about physics.

Every bike rider has a moment of clarity when they sense that somehow, they became totally connected with their bicycle. Every rider also has a moment when they crash (really hard), and feel betrayed by their bicycle. You will love your old bike, and you will be inspired with each new one.

I remember teaching my son how to ride his bike, and I welcome every ride with him still. I hope your bike brings you the same opportunity for connection with your parents, and I want to remind you to take them for rides, even when you will have to slow down for them.

It may sound strange, but I think it is sort of a privilege to give a kid their first bicycle, and I hope you will share this one when you outgrow it. I look forward to when you can show me your favorite trail!


Cousin Ron

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