Monday, August 28, 2006

Losing the Training Wheels

To say that Anuj was an avid bicyclist would certainly be an understatement. As a young man, he loved to ride his road bike on routes all over the San Francisco Bay Area. However his love of cycling began much earlier than that - on the open country roads outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most of these are fully developed now - often leading to the newest strip mall - but back in the late 70s and early 80s many of them were still gravel and dirt.
Anuj on his tricycle. Summer 1979.

This is where Anuj graduated from his little red tricycle to his beloved yellow bike. It is where he quickly and bravely shed his training wheels with Dad cheering him on all the way. When Anuj would fall he never really cried. Just like everything he did later in life, Anuj just got up, dusted himself off, and got back on the bike to try again. Pretty soon he was cruising up and down the long driveway of his family's home. He and Neal would spend hours doing wheelies and wipe-outs on that driveway and the dirt road just beyond it. Sometimes, when Mom wasn't looking, they would use the landscaping in their frontyard as readymade ramps launching their bikes into the air.

After a while, Anuj joined his father and older brother on summer evening rides around the neighborhood. Since he was the little guy, he had to peddle doubly hard to keep pace but somehow Anuj always found a way to do it. Naturally curious, he loved exploring his surroundings on two wheels. Eventually he would graduate to a BMX dirt bike, and later to a Raleigh 12-speed, but it was with the red tricycle and yellow bike that his lifelong passion began.

The bike route Anuj would take with Neal and Dad as a child in Saline, Michigan. Click on map for a larger version.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Picture, Beautiful Time , Beautiful Memories
Ever lasting

12:42 PM  

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