Patricia Gwozdz

At the age of four, I began riding a three-wheeled bicycle. Yes, back in the 1950’s children rode three-wheeled bicycles and it was probably left over from someone who owned it during the 1940s’! The bike was kept at my grandparents, where I stayed during the summers. It was chain-driven, had no rubber on the rims, and was completely rusted out. But it had the best sounding bell ever!

By the age of five, I was given my very own bicycle! Mind you this was no ordinary bike! It was a two-wheeler, of course with training wheels, but the brake, instead of being located down by the peddles, was positioned on the frame of the bike. You would have to raise your right foot to a lever and push forward to make the wheels stop. Since I had expert balancing skills, in no time the trainers came off.

This particular bicycle had no coasting mechanism, so you either kept peddling or held your legs straight down and away from the turning peddles. One afternoon as I rode up a driveway the bike literally split in two! The seat went out from under me and I was left holding the handlebars in my hands. Back in those days, you made due with what you had! So my dad welded the two pieces back together again and I was back on the road pronto!

As I continued to develop, so did the caliber of my bikes. Eventually, I rode a real two-wheeler that permitted your legs a brief respite from continued peddling and not only coasted, but the peddles could turn in the opposite direction just for fun. The best part of having a real pair of wheels was that I could now travel faster and further then ever before! At times the bike even transformed itself into a mighty steed! Together we galloped down old dirt roads, through great green parks and over large expanses of hot black asphalt.

I was hooked! Wheels became everything to me! My freedom! My escape! My adventure! My punishment…when one day I talked my older sister into letting me take her car for a little spin around the block before having my license to drive! My dad caught me and I was grounded for a time! But Dad never learned of the time when one of my boyfriends allowed me to drive his 1957 Corvette. Since I didn’t know how to use a stick shift, the drive became a steady pattern of stop and go! The ride was a short one, but it earned me the valiant name of “Crash.”

Never one to be dissuaded by a little setback, I continued to fall in love with anything that had wheels: lawnmowers, roller skates, mopeds, cars, trucks and eventually motorcycles! Carol Pieretti introduced me to the sport and the Spokes-Women. The times spent riding with all the extraordinary members of the club can only be described as very special moments in my life with very special people!

It seems I’ve traveled full circle with my cycles! My first motorcycle was a Honda Rebel, my second a Yamaha Virago (Spirit of the Dance) and a Honda Goldwing Trike (Spirit of the Dance II). The feelings remain the same, however, from the very first time I sat on that old rusted 3-wheeler at my grandparent’s farm and peddled my heart out until now, it is completely exhilarating! You are in harmony with the movement of life, the world, the universe! A love affair, where you hold your partner and dance with the wind!

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