Lorens Grondkoning

Protea st., Golden Valley, Steytlerville, South Africa

2010 / 12 / 08 18:18


I got this bicycle from my father. I have had it for over 30 years now. I’m 60 now, on the dot. My father is 92 years old now. When he bought it it was brand new. He bought it for me as a Christmas gift - so it's the bikes’ birthday again one of these days! It is well looked after and I still love this bike, truly - this bicycle is my legs. I cycle wherever I go and I see to it that the tires are rock hard and I don’t have to pump, because when I get up, the tires are hard. I just painted him this morning - I’ve probably painted it more than three times already. Each time a different color. First it was blue. I did not want to paint it blue again, so I gave it a different color. The first time I painted it green, and now it’s that bottle green color. My father is very happy I still have this bicycle, but sometimes when I go there he asks me "What bike is this?" He does not recognize it because I painted it a different color. Then I tell him that it’s the same bike he gave to me as a Christmas present. Then he says "Oh, I’m not all there, my head is not working so well anymore, my child". Then he laughs about it. But he’s very happy that I still have my bicycle, because my two younger brothers - we each got a bicycle, but their bicycles are scrap. I repair it and maintain it myself. There is nothing I don’t know about this bicycle. If there is something wrong - a fault, I repair it, a cog, anything, a short, I buy the part. I know this bike through and through. I use it to go to work. Sometimes, I do odd jobs on the farm just behind here. He just carries me where I want to be. I rely on him for anything. He knows fishing, that bike. Once I caught 14, 16 Barbels - big ones. He carries them. My bike was loaded, but I trust him. I see that the tires and the tubes are right. He takes me exactly just where I want to be. I feel very sorry for him and I'll maintain him until the day that I am no longer able to. People come and ask me to lend my bike to them, “May I borrow the bicycle?" Then I say, "Man, lending has gone down the river. I can’t lend it to you. The days of lending are over, they will never return.” My children - actually, my grandchildren, will one day inherit this bicycle - but they must look after it as I did.’

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Stan Engelbrecht