Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The bicycle

When I was 7, we lived on the ground floor of an 8 storey building called Knollwood Terrace. In my life, I've lived in more than 15 places and this was by far my favorite home. It was a great apartment condo that had all units facing the Ottawa parkway. Along the parkway there was an orchard of trees that would explode with beautiful pink blossoms during the spring. It had a bikepath that followed alongside the parkway that meandered along the Ottawa River. It truely was a cyclists dream. Till this day they shut down the parkway on Sundays during the summer months so that cyclists and walkers can take over the road and enjoy the scenery.

 It's one of the things I miss most about Ottawa.

One of my favorite memories of my dad was when we lived here. I had just come back from riding my bike along the bikepaths and had left my bike, like all 7 year olds, lying flat on the ground at the front of the screen door to our living room. I closed the screen door and proceeded to watch TV and play with my toy cars on the floor of the living room. Multi-tasking at it's best.

Seeing as I was so engrossed with my cars I didn't know how much time had gone by since I left my bike out there. All I remember was that all of a sudden I saw a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye followed by a loud crash.

What was that???

I looked up to see the warped screen door lying on the ground outside. I peeked outside and saw my dad escorting a guy, maybe 14, by his upper arm back from the end of our building's driveway. He was on his tip toes so you could tell he wasn't going to go anywhere. My dad brought him to our front lobby and the three of us waited while my mom made a call. I can still remember the look of dispair on the teen's face as he sat in the lobby chair that my father had "placed" him in. I didn't understand why he looked so sad. We waited for quite some time and then the police came. They placed him in the cruiser and drove slowly away.

Several days later we found out that this teen had stolen multiple bikes in the area and he had taken an interest in my bike. It wasn't anything special. A used 5 speed, that's right, 5 speed, "supercycle" that I bought for $60. My parents had made a deal with me when I was 5. Save up enough for half the bike and we'll pay for the other half. In any case, leaving my bike at the door was the opportunity he was looking for... He jumped on, and off he rode.

What he wasn't counting on was my dad seeing him taking my bike from inside the apartment, then blasting through the screen door and running him down on foot.

From that day on, in my eyes, my dad was Superman.


  1. Did I ever tell you about the time I fell off my bike as a kid and cracked my skull???? Yes, those were the days..

  2. I think you have a post about that on your blog too. Was there any permanent damage :) .

    I fell off my bike when I was 8 too. Didn't crack my skull though. But the people in the house near where I fell left me in the middle of the road for 20 minutes until my parents came.

    I guess that's why they want us wearing helmets nowadays. Can't say that we're any worse for wear but some people may argue that point. Maybe we just got lucky