“When there’s not a horse to ride, a bicycle is the next best thing.”
A dozen horses were tied to trailers, but moms and dads wouldn’t let little ones on yet. So they were riding their bicycles lickety-cut up-and-down the rough dirt road.
There was a handful riding 7:30 in the morning upon arrival at the horseshow arena. Cowgirls and cowboys from a 10-year-old down to a little cowboy who come to find out later was two-years-old.
A couple of the bigger young horseshow enthusiasts were riding maybe 24-inch bicycles. One little cowgirl had what must have been a 16-incher with training wheels.
Most amazing was the little fellow, big cowboy hat, no peddles. Just bare feet prodding his tiny bicycle-of-sorts forward keeping up with the older riders.
The sight brought uncontrollable smile with so much young enthusiasm having such fun. All before the real horseshow action began when each would be horseback mounted touting their already quite skilled abilities.
Reminder came of 60-plus years ago when a wannabe cowboy didn’t have a horse despite continued pleading with parents. Neighbor kids had bicycles and offered the wannabe opportunity to ride sometimes, but he wasn’t too coordinated at balancing.
Mom and Dad finally gave into ordering a bicycle which came in the day wannabe was visiting country cousins. They had a bay gelding called Sandy which the wannabe took every opportunity to ride but never enough.
It was dark when parents brought the new bike to the country. Mom had selected the fancy 26-inch, with passenger seat, basket, horn, lights, handlebar streamers; the works.
Ground around the chicken house was bumpy while wannabe’s bicycle skills semblance of his tractor driving years later. More than one crash caused dents making neither Mom nor rider happy.
When balancing skills improved the bicycle was ridden around the city home block every evening. Then instead of parents hauling or student walking to and from school, bicycle became regular transportation.
Cowboy friend would usually ride along, both preferring to be riding horses. Like students and teachers, including Mom, did decades earlier.
After getting “too old” to ride a bicycle to school, it was sold for $5 to a friend. Fond recollections that were completely incomparable to riding a horse.
Reminded of First Thessalonians 3:6: “Always think kindly and treasure your memories.”