Freeman Cebu Sports

My First Bicycle

ALLEZ - Jose Vicente Araneta - The Freeman

I have wrote more than once that my first  frame was made by the bow defunct bicycle shop, ASP who used to build custom-made framesets made of chromoly and hi-tension steel and was located along Junquera St. For clarification, it was the first frameset I owned, bought from my first salary.

But the bicycle that I learned the rudimentary skills fromw belonged to my Dad. I remember it had a head badge but I don’t remember what brand it was. What I remember clearly was that it was custom painted white and green with, “ARANETA” written over the front and rear fenders. Sometimes, I would remove the fenders and flip the handlebars and imagine that I was Mawi Reynante.

It also had a center stand and hand brakes. It was rare to see a bicycle back in the 70’s with hand brakes. Most bicycles back then used coaster brakes where you simply reverse-pedal and the bicycle would slow down or stop.

Because of the hand brake brakes, the bicycle was different and I thought it was the best bicycle in in the neighborhood!

So why did my Dad owned a bicycle? Well, it was his mode of transportation up to the early 70’s. He would pedal about 8 kilometres everyday going and back to work as a school dentist. Nobody does that today. Even newsboys make their deliveries on motorbikes. And I used to wonder how he would smell when he got to the clinic.

In 1972, my dad finally bought a motorbike, a used red Yamaha 180cc twin engine. His bicycle was handed down to me unofficially. A year later, the Yamaha was stolen and he took back his bicycle. After a week, the cops recovered the stolen motorbike but my Dad wouldn’t accept it anymore after it was crassly modified. So he was given a brand new green 125cc Kawasaki  as a settlement that he used until he retired some 22 years ago. It now sitting at the back our house.

But my father didn’t use his motorbike all the time. During the gas crisis in 73’ and 79’ he went back to riding his bicycle when gas became not only expensive but difficult to procure.

In between, that bicycle mine. That bicycle gave me a lot of things some boys would never have- the freedom to go farther and farther than they ever could and also, everybody treated me well because they want to borrow my bicycle.

The last time I used that machine was when I was in first year HS. I would ride it to school everyday. But at that point, I was starting to hate it after seeing the chrome-covered road bikes of the school athletes. I was starting to get embarrassed by it. In fact, I asked my Dad to buy me a road bike but he told me that I have to quit school first. After that, all I ever wanted was to get a job and use my first pay to get a bicycle. And that’s what I did.

Today, I don’t know where it is. My Dad stashed it somewhere until until it was lost. While I don’t miss the bicycle itself, I missed the times when I was riding and feeling like the great Mawi Reynante.

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