Bicycle and Me

I grew up with bicycles in Sri Lanka. I had an Indian made Hero Bicycle. That was probably the cheapest make available in Sri Lanka at that time. It cost about one-third the price of the Japanese made Asia bicycle. My Hero was my personal vehicle until I moved to Kandy for my Engineering studies. Later on I moved to Reno as a graduate student. During this time I got a bicycle for free from one of my friends. I rode it for a few months, but somebody has stolen that bicycle from my apartment. Four years ago, I bought a Schwinn bicycle. I still use it for work commute or recreation ride.

The first bicycle to our home was an English-made Raleigh bicycle. My father bought this bicycle in the 1960s and rode it for a few years until he bought a car. I don’t remember him using his bicycle as the primary vehicle. By the time I grew up and started remember the events; he had a Hillman car and a Yamaha 125 Motor cycle. The Raleigh bicycle was passed on to my elder brother. He reconditioned the bicycle and used it as his primary transportation mode until he left home for his medical studies. I don’t remember what happened to this bicycle after he left home.

Then my parents bought a bicycle for me when I was about to start grade 6 at school. I got this bicycle as a present for passing the Hartley College entrance exam. Until that time I took bus to school and walked to my tuition classes and other needs. This bicycle does not have gear. That was same for most other bicycles in Sri Lanka at that time. My cousin had a 3 gear bicycle. That was the only bicycle that had gears as far as I remember.

A year after I got my bicycle, my parents bought a bicycle for my younger brother. It was a Japanese made Lumala bicycle. This was his primary vehicle until he moved to Colombo for his Engineering studies. I don’t know what happened to this bicycle after he left for Colombo.

The last time, I saw my bicycle, was when I visited to my home town in 2004. My uncle was using that bicycle. It was rusty but still served the purpose. I don’t know whether it is still in use or scrapped for metal.

May is the national bicycle month.


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