|3 Speed, 16x20 oil on panel|
When I was in 4th grade my parents agreed with me that it was time for me to get a bicycle. Walking to my Elementary School gave me lots of time to admire all the cool new stingrays that went by with banana seats and tall swooping handle bars. I couldn't wait to be the proud owner of one, and began to mull over which color to choose.
It was on the drive to the Schwinn bike store in a neighboring town that I had the chance to describe the bike of my dreams to my dad. He turned to me with a furrowed brow and said "I'm not going to buy you a silly circus bike! We are going to get a fine English 3 Speed that will serve you for decades!" I tried very hard not to let my face express the horror I felt. Not only was I not going to be getting the stingray of my dreams, I was going to have to ride the kind of bike that crotchety old men and that very opionated German widow rode around town.
I smiled wanly as we drove it home. Despite feeling like the wicked witch of the west peddling furiously around town, I defended my fine English 3 Speed fiercely when my friends made fun of it, and indeed it lasted for decades!