Wednesday, December 23, 2009


For the sake of  sentimental memories, I'm writing this entry to put on record and tell the whole world that I am finally getting rid of what remains of my bicycle which I brought home more than 30 years ago from Madison Wisconsin. USA where I did my masters degree in education.This is the picture I am putting into my archive.

There are lots of happy and sad memories behind that bicycle. I think its time to put it behind forever and live as though I do not have a past. I still wonder if that is possible.But I will definitely try because what matters is the future and  I will focus on that precious time I have left.

The subject of bicycle is always special to me. In my childhood days it was always a thrill to be allowed to try and ride my fathers big huge cargo bicycle which he used to transport his cash crops product to the market like place. I fell down to the rough grounds several times and live with scratches all over my body just so I could walk tall and tell my big brother that I too could  ride a bicycle. In those days, in the 50s, for most families the bicycle is a modest form of transport. And few are privileged even to own one. And so when my late mother bought me a second hand bicycle at age 12 so I didn't have to walk over a mile to school any more, I was feeling on top of the world. And later at 15 when my brother bought me a brand new bicycle as a gift for doing well in exams, I was simply thrilled to my bones.But now I could ride the bicycle no more.

So the story of this bicycle reminded me of a friend who confronted a teacher in school just because  he was up set about his son not having time to ride his bicycle.
"Let's blame it on the teachers." he said one day. "They give our children tons of home work that our children have very little time to do anything else, not even to ride his bicycle."
"But isn't that good for them. Teachers work hard to make sure children obtain their 'A' grades as targeted." I argued.
"But surely that could be done without sacrificing valuable time to play. Do you know that children learn and discover things as they play?" He seemed  irritated because I sounded disagreeable.
"Now look here my dear friend," His eyes wide open to convince me that he meant business. " I bought my eight year old son a bicycle few weeks ago, and I have not  seen him ride his bicycle even once. Do you know that he is Eight Years Old Only Once In His Life?"
"Oh, my..." He is really angered by the way the education system is designed and implemented.This was in the 70s.

"Yes! you will get all the 'A's," he continued, " but they may be robots, or they may well be nerds." He looked very dissatisfied as he continued with his points and he went on and on ...............

"What a memory, Oh, dear bicycle. I am sure I am not  a robot and nor am I a nerd. Maybe that bicycle, and coupled with other things, created a balanced person in me. I never had many A's in my school life  I must admit but I enjoyed school to the fullest. I often told my nieces and nephews and later may children that A's in your report card is important, but play and enjoying other activities in school is just as important if not more.Games and sporting activities help boost your potential in excellent leadership. Loosing or winning a game makes you learn to take defeat like a gentleman. You know I can talk for hours about this, but let it be for now.

I must say that those who never knew how to ride a bicycle is missing something in life. My old  ten speed bicycle is nothing compared to the  high-tech bikes these days.When I was in Tokyo some three years ago taking care of my  grandchildren, I saw "old" ladies riding bicycles to the grocery stores. I was often tempted to ride my daughter's bicycle but did not have enough courage because I didn't want to upset my daughter just in case I fall to the ground or had an accident. But I was watching those who ride with utter  envy that  I do not think many people could understand.

Therefore the moral of the story is : do what you want to do at the right time, at the right place and for the right reason. Of course within the bounds of social, legal and syarie norms. This is because you are eight, eighteen, twenty eight or whatever years old, only once in your life, period.

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