Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

08 December 2015

Imagine!

Who said this?:

 "As a kid I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed."

One clue might be "Liverpool".  I mean the one in England, not the one in upstate New York (where the locals joke that their town is so named because it has the same kind of weather as the British port city).  When you think of people from Liverpool, who comes to mind first?

OK, you can be forgiven for saying "William Gladstone" or "Clive Barker"--or, for that matter, Kate Sheppard or Peter Shaffer.  But if you're of my generation and know even less than I do about British or women's history, there is only one answer you can give.

That answer is, of course, The Beatles.  And who was the most literate and articulate of the "Fab Four".  You guessed it:  John Lennon.

 "As a kid I had a dream - I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed." John Lennon.  Image source: http://cyclingart.blogspot.com/2011/10/john-lennons-birthday.html

Somehow it's not a surprise that he had such a dream, or was so happy that it was realized.  He had his flaws, but in the end, I think he really meant what he wrote in "Imagine". 



Ironically and tragically, a deranged man with a gun ended his life, thirty-five years ago today.  

The ensuing years have not lessened the shock of his murder.  I often find myself playing his songs in my mind--or even humming or singing them--as I ride and do other things.  It's appropriate, I think:  If more people, especially in developed countries, rode bikes to work, school, shop, or simply for fun, we might come closer to having the sort of world he envisioned. 

3 comments:

  1. I can't remember where I read that quote, but I remembered that John Lennon had said that. It was such a sad day when he died.

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  2. MT--I really thought the world had gone completely insane the day he was killed.

    Chris--Thank you!

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