Like many kids, I received my first bicycle for my birthday. My beautiful bicycle was a little on the large size and it took me a while to master it while riding around the shamba (garden)
With my feet not quite touching the ground I set off with my siblings to the duka (still a shop).
We cycled single file, with my sister ahead and brother behind me. I heard a shout from my sister, but I was concentrating more on my feet reaching the pedals. I looked up, it was too late, Toni had tried to warn me of a parked lorry. In a futile attempt to overtake it, my eye came into contact with the rear corner of the lorry, the bike continued to move forward, but I didn’t.
My siblings picked me up; I had a grazed and blackened eye. Again, I had a lucky escape, my sight was undamaged.
The advantage of having a bicycle is that you can ride to school and back. My routine was different; my parents would drop me off in the morning on their way to work. At the end of the school day, our shamba boy (gardener, again I apologise for the word ‘boy’) would deliver the bike to me and I was supposed to ride home while he walked.
I thought this was unfair, as it was a two-mile walk for him, therefore you had the amusing sight of a six-foot tall African pedalling a children’s bicycle, with a little white boy perched precariously behind him.