Sep 9  |  Monuments to the tiny.

Posted by , September 9th, 2010 at 5:59PM    

I had this random desire to Google-Map and street-view the sidewalk where I rode my bike for the first time sans training wheels. I still dream about coming up on the corner at the end of the sidewalk and not being able to brake, throwing the bike into the hedges and eating sh*t. Probably my first moment of absolute terror and delight at velocity. Steep technical descents evoke the same exact feeling (with hopefully different outcomes). I want you to do the same for yourself. Go find the street view of your first ride. It means something. 1969, Baltimore. From the red spot at the speed limit sign to the corner… with a crash so important to me that it has its own neural pathway. Where’s yours?


  1. I first rode a bike in an alley in Terre Haute, Indiana. I had a dream that I was riding a bike the night before, woke up, asked my Dad to take off the training wheels and I rode. I didn’t stop very well, but I rode. I just google mapped it and had a major flashback. Bigtime.

    Comment by Tyler — September 9, 2010 @ 6:09 pm    

  2. Crazy, huh Tyler? Milestones fold into brain in such odd ways. I haven’t seen this street in like 40 years…
    but I know every crack in the sidewalk and recognize that terror and joy like its an old friend.

    Comment by Noel — September 9, 2010 @ 6:15 pm    

  3. I totally just google mapped my entire walk to Jr. High School, crazy how things change yet remain the same.

    Comment by Tyler — September 9, 2010 @ 6:17 pm    

  4. have you tried the new “interactive” arcade fire video? It will do something with your home street.

    Comment by tylernol — September 9, 2010 @ 6:51 pm    

  5. yeah, honestly its probably what opened up the door and shook loose the desire….

    Comment by Noel — September 9, 2010 @ 6:53 pm    

  6. it does not work for my hometown, which is odd, I did not grow in that rural a NY state town.

    Comment by tylernol — September 9, 2010 @ 6:57 pm    

  7. Memories. Funny how the thrill of that first “speed” was so quickly followed by that first “how am I going to stop” with the answer being of course – run into something or dump-it.

    My mom had tried for a couple of weeks to get me going without training wheels on my sister’s old banana seated and fully grip-tassled Columbia, but to no avail. It wasn’t until an ass-hat bully nextdoor neighbor threw me off my prized BigWheel that I grabbed the first coneyance available to make chase…my sisters bike. I stopped by running into him at full speed ( and tore him up but good ). It was sweet.

    Comment by Dave — September 15, 2010 @ 11:42 am    

  8. Mine is similar. After going to the store with my Dad and getting my first bike, a red CCM ‘swinger’ ( hey, it was 1974 ! ) I rode down the sidewalk in front of our house to the corner, where I too panic, fall over and skin my knee on the ground. That’s my earliest childhood memory too. Many more rides since then, fortunately not too many skinned knees….

    Comment by Grant — September 23, 2010 @ 6:12 am    

  9. Keswick is a really nice street and nice little climb. Cool to see something local here.

    Comment by Tom — September 28, 2010 @ 12:24 pm    

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