A good friend sent this to me some time ago.  A lovely couple paragraphs by Roald Dahl.

“It was my first term and I was walking home alone across the village green after school when suddenly one of the senior twelve-year-old boys came riding full speed down the road on his bicycle about twenty yards away from me. The road was on a hill and the boy was going down the slope, and as he flashed by he started backpedalling very quickly so that the free-wheeling mechanism of his bike made a loud whirring sound. At the same time, he took his hands off the handlebars and folded them casually across his chest. I stopped dead and stared after him. How wonderful he was! How swift and brave and graceful in his long trousers with bicycle-clips around them and his scarlet school cap at a jaunty angle on his head! One day, I told myself, one glorious day I will have a bike like that and I will wear long trousers with bicycle-clips and my school cap will sit jaunty on my head and I will go whizzing down the hill pedaling backwards with no hands on the handlebars!

“I promise you that if somebody had caught me by the shoulder at that moment and said to me, ‘What is you greatest wish in life, little boy? What is your absolute ambition? To be a doctor? A fine musician? A painter? A writer? Or the Lord Chancellor?’ I would have answered without hesitation that my only ambition, my hope, my longing was to have a bike like that and to go whizzing down the hill with no hands on the handlebars. It would be fabulous. It made me tremble just to think about it.”

-Roald Dahl, Boy.

2 thoughts on “The Bicycle and the Sweet Shop

  1. A great bit of writing by Roald Dahl. I am sure that we can all relate to the excitement of having our first bicycles and going out to explore the wide world. It is something that some of us never grow out of. I have spent all my life in and around bicycles and the bicycle industry and I never tire of remembering my grandfather’ saying that a bicycle was something that we can get as much enjoyment out of when we are seventy as we could when we were seven. Would I rather have been a doctor or the prime minister? I don’t think so. I am sure that Michael prefers to be bicycle racing as hard as it is. On the other hand, a famous writer? Well maybe. We are stll boys, and we still dream.

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