The Bike That Let a Girl Fly

Title

The Bike That Let a Girl Fly

Contributor

Lillian Knight

Essay Text

This bike represents a dream. A dream of a little girl who lived in a small town and only ever wanted one thing, a bike. At the age of five and a half she asked her father for her greatest desire. He was, as per usual for a Tuesday afternoon, seated in his leather easy chair reading the newspaper. She tugged on his shirt and calmly and pleasantly asked him, “Daddy may I please have a bike?” The girl’s father was surprised by the subject of her question as opposed to a doll or pony like the girl’s older sisters always asked for. He looked up from his newspaper and over at his hopeful daughter and asked her a simple question, “Well why do you want one dear?” The girl thought about it for a minute and when she had decided on her answer she looked her father in the eyes and said, “I want to fly,” she paused for a moment and then continued, “and I’m not that fast when I run like my friend Bobby and I can’t drive like you and I haven’t grown any wings like a bird yet so I’d like a bike so I fly.” Her father looked at her shocked at first by the sincerity of his five-year old’s words, but then he became very pleased. “Then you must have a bike my darling,” he said with a smile. “Every girl should be able to fly.” And so, the girls journey began. The first bike she had came with training wheels, but she quickly discarded them. She fell and scraped her knees and elbows so much that she had permanent bandages on them, but she never stopped or slowed down. By the time she was 14, she was on bike number four and was cycling at the park every day. And for her 18th birthday present her parents got her this bike. She immediately fell in love with its sleek seat, white frame, slender tires, and beautifully curved handles. She used her favorite bottles wherever she went, and she indeed went everywhere. The summer after she graduated college, the girl, now a young woman, packed a bag, hugged her parents, and set off. She traveled from coast to coast, seeing everything that she could from oceans to deserts, from sunsets to sunrises, from rainy nights to clear star filled skies. When she reached Atlanta, she had just ended her trip at the Georgia coast, it was the end of August and almost time to head back home. Before she left she biked around the city and didn’t stop until she found the place. She stopped at every nock and cranny place she could find until she found it, Manuel’s Tavern. As soon as she walked in she knew it was perfect. She walked up to the bar and said, “Sir, I have something that I think would look very nice added to your collection if you’d be interested in having it.” The bike was brought in, and it was quickly decided that the bike would fit in perfectly, but the girl had one condition. She said that as long as anyone asks about the bikes story it must be told that it had served its purpose. It helped a girl do what she had always wanted to do most, fly.

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