Bicycle: (n) a vehicle composed of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars
The old 37 hill.
That’s what I called it.
It wasn’t actually much of a rise, but for my chubby legs, trying to pedal up that incline on my bicycle was nearly impossible. Matter of fact, usually halfway up, I pulled over, got off and walked my bicycle the rest of the way up.
I always felt like a failure (well, as much as you can feel like a failure when you’re twelve).
It seemed like the whole town was watching me to see if I was going to give up on the old 37 one more time.
In never getting up, I never let them down.
One day, I decided I was going to pedal the whole hill no matter what happened. Hell to pay (though I didn’t know what that phrase meant).
I was doing so well.
I was nearly at the top when I stood up and pushed down for one final burst…and my bicycle pedal broke off, causing me to splatter all over the road in complete indignity.
I was so embarrassed.
Especially when I went down to the small-town hardware store to replace my pedal and the owner refused to put one on. He said I was too fat and I would just break it again.
I had to promise him that I would never stand up and push hard on the pedal before he would let me buy the replacement.
Because of that I never conquered the old 37 hill.
But when I got my driver’s license, I took my 1963 Impala and drove up and down repeatedly…snickering.