Leila Brammer – Minneapolis, MN
When I was 10, on Christmas Eve, I went to church with my mom and returned for Christmas Eve dinner–clam chowder, deer sausage (from my uncle), fresh bread, cookies, fudge, and date nut cake. After dinner, we opened presents as is our tradition. As the youngest, I passed out all the presents, and we opened them all. After we were done, my family told me that I missed a present under the tree. I looked around for it, and they told me to look under the tree skirt. I did and found a piece of paper with my name one it connected to a string. I followed the string around the house (behind and under furniture and through rooms). The string led to my parent’s room in which I found a brand new John Deere 10-speed bike (my uncle owned a JD dealership).
In a very rare South Dakota December, the day after Christmas was warm, and there was a strip down the street that was clear of snow. I got to take my bike for a short ride, before the snow came and covered up the streets for the next three months.
I rode that bike everywhere for the next eight years. Sun, rain, snow, it didn’t matter as that bike was a brick and could go anywhere. I sold it to buy a new Schwinn when I was 18 and regret it. I wish I had it, if only just to hang on my wall and remember the bike that made me fall in love with cycling.