Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's and bikes

It was always amusing to see my father come out of the house wearing shorts.  Seeing his lily-white legs covered in red hair was an unusual sight since my father wore pants almost all the time.

The reason for wearing the shorts would be some excuse to take my bike out for a ride - most likely Dad would want to test out a recent repair that he had made.  He had probably fixed a flat.  As a kid, you don't think anything about riding over sharp objects like broken glass and nails.

The funny thing about watching my father ride a bike was the angle at which he had to position his legs to be able to ride such a short bike.  The same sort of angle a frog's legs would take if you can imagine a frog riding a bike.

When my father arrived back at the house with a smile hidden under his red moustache, you forgot your impatience and were hapy to know that one, he hadn't crashed your bike and two, the repair he had made was good.

Once visiting my in-laws at their family home in Ottawa, my father-in-law took it upon himself to ride a bike up and down their street.  Being a photographer, it fell to me to record this surprising event.  The warm glow of lights inside the house matched the orange colour of the setting sun.  I used a slow shutter speed and let my father-in-law ride through the frame.  Later, when the film was developed, there was a ghostly streak of my wife's father across the picture.  When I look at the photo now, I realise that I never really knew the man on the bike.

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