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Pedal to the Metal


Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago.

Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom.

I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo.

Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza.  She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn't pass the DMV eye test and, fortunately, she wouldn't drive without a license. 

Like any old thing, Eliza has her physical ailments so we don't stray too far from home. When we want or need to, we rent a car. Eliza doesn't seem to mind. So I think.


Tilda-Hilda. I haven't been on the pink lady's cruiser in two years, which I had been riding nearly every day on the nearby back roads for a few years. My knees gave out in the last half of 2016. Lately, they have been feeling stronger. I ought to see if I can pedal without any pain.

White Volvo Station Wagon. In 1993, the First Husband and I bought the 1978 car for about $2,500. It had a lot of problems, at least $400 of repairs every year; still, it managed to take us to San Diego, as well as into Oregon and up into the Sierras. It was a sweet drive, that used funky Volvo was.

Red Honda Scooter. Beep, beep. The First Husband drove a BMW motorcycle and when he saw I liked motorcycles, he bought me a Honda Triumph motorcycle. Maybe if I practiced driving it on a flat surface, and had another teacher, I might've figured how to change gears. The Triumph became the First Husband's second bike.

Still wanting me to feel the independence of being on a motorized bike, he bought me an electric scooter that could go about 20 miles on a charge, if driven on flat terrain. We lived on a hill in San Francisco, which meant some times I walked the scooter the last few blocks to our apartment. Around 1991, the First Husband presented me with a used gas Honda scooter. Beep, beep. Day or night, in clear, foggy, or rainy weather, I drove that scooter around the City. Beep, beep. 

Mazda Truck. In 1984, I decided I didn't need to meet a guy who had a truck. I was an independent single woman making a good salary who could afford her own truck. So I bought myself a brand new red truck. Several months after I bought the Mazda, I met the First Husband who owned a white Datsun truck.


Emeline. A few weeks before I entered community college in the Fall of 1971, the parents decided I needed a car of my own and they let me be part of the decision-making. Mama wanted me to drive a sporty looking tank of a car so if I ever got into an accident, I would not be crushed.

I fell in love with a yellow Dodge Colt, the first of its boxy kind, completely stripped down. No power brakes, no power steering, no fancy stripes, and no radio. Basic. Simple. It had a manual transmission, which I had no clue as to how to drive. I learned quickly.

Emeline and I had many adventures in our six years together, including driving the streets of San Francisco, up and down California, and criss-crossing the United States.

Green Peugeot 10-speed bike. When the Only and Older Brother went off to Australia to teach in the 1970s, I got his ten-speed. This was a powerful bike that let me pedal farther and further away from home and be back before the parents knew I had wandered.


Singer treadle sewing machine. I love this machine. Pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal.

Daddy bought the machine for Mama, probably one of his first gifts to her, back in the 1950s. I watched Mama pedal it for miles as she sewed dresses and tops for me, for her, and for her friends. I learned to sew on this machine. Pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal.

Blue Western Flyer Lady's Cruiser. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, the parents gave my first bike away and bought me this bicycle. They must've thought I was too old or big to be riding the Schwinn, but I thought the Western Flyer was the same size. I may be wrong. Soon after they bought it, I stopped riding bikes. Too old for that. When I was a senior in high school, I got over being too old to ride a bicycle. So I pulled the blue cruiser out of the shed to tootle around town.  It made a wonderful creaking noise.

Black Schwinn Bicycle. It was either a three-speed or a five-speed that belonged to the Only and Older Brother. I was probably nine years old when I first tried his bike. I loved how fast I could go. Wisssssssh.  I didn't know how the gears worked, so I didn't mess with them. I also never figured out the hand brakes. To stop, I either slowed down and fell to the ground or bashed into the garage door.


Blue Schwinn Girl's Cruiser.  The parents gave me my first two-wheeler when I was seven years old. Daddy put training wheels on it so I was able to ride it whenever I wanted and not when a grown-up had the time to be with me.

It was a very late afternoon, nearly dusk, when Daddy let go of the seat and I pedaled that bicycle forward on my own. Whooo-hooo!

Daddy's Car. I may be three or four years old. Maybe younger, I don't recall. Nor do I remember what kind of car. My memory is this: Sitting next to Daddy on the long bench seat, my left hand on the steering wheel. Daddy had me thinking I was the one driving the car.

Today I'm hanging out at Thursday 13 and I Like Thursdays. Please take a look and check out the other participants. Thank you kindly, Hosts of the Thursday memes.

Comments

  1. I grew up with nine kids and no seat belts or baby seats. I took sewing and Home Economics but was always bad at it. I lived with only a bicycle for a while, back and forth to work. I once wrote my history through couches. I never think of cars as an extension of myself just a means to a way. It's fun getting to know you through your wheels. My son puts pedal to the medal on a potter's wheel.

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    1. Pedaling a potter's wheel is still on my list of Things to Try. It sounds like we're from the same era. No seat belts, check. Home Economics, check. I wasn't great at sewing either, which may have been because Mama was skilled and talented in the craft. I was such a contrary child. Poor Mama.

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  2. My Aunt B. made all of my Uncle J.'s shirts on a Singer Treadle Sewing Machine . . . I always thought he was the luckiest man . . . . I hope you find yourself flying free on Tilda again . . soon!!! love & love,
    -g-

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    Replies
    1. Do you remember of the treadle, G? Especially when your aunt was going (seemingly) full speed?

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  3. what fun! I pedaled a singer too. Pink bikes are sweet!

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    1. Tilda-Hilda is my first ever pink bike. It was my only choice when the Husband and I were at the local bicycle shop. I'm glad it was. She's taken on many an adventure.

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  4. Lots of ways to get around.

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  5. Quite the list. My bike list consists of maybe 2 bikes. Same for cars...

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    1. Until I wrote this list, I didn't realize there were so many cars that figured in my life. I almost sound like a guy. lol

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  6. Oh, I hope you can have a bit of a tootle on Tilda-Hilda again soon. :)

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  7. Enjoyed hearing about all your bikes and cars. My list isn't quite that long. Still made me think about my very first car, bought on my own, the fire-engine red Pontiac sunbird. Good times. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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  8. My husband and I have been laughing lately over all the things we still use that are over 30 years old - clocks, the crock pot, my oven, tractors, hay wagons, the kitchen table, etc. Why replace stuff, after all?

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    1. 30 years ago was the 1980s. I still think of 30s years ago as being the 1930s. lol Currently, the Husband and I are using a percolator from the 1970s to make coffee.

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  9. This is a fun read. Husband had a used 1970 white Volvo sedan when we first got together in 1980. We drove and drove and drove and drove until we had to replace the engine
    ... together ... in the shed in the house we were renting at the time. Then we drove her some more until she had a serious sway back at circa 300,000 miles. He named her Ovlov. We still have find memories of Ovlov ... <3 Pat

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    1. Ovlov, good one! Ovlov the Volvo. It sounds like you have many good memories with her. When I met the Husband he was driving a 1960s Volvo sedan. He loved that car.

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  10. I love the way all your cars have names! I have a Singer sewing machine table that I rescued and restored, sadly it is without the machine! Happy Monday!
    Wren x

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    Replies
    1. An old Singer sewing machine table is very cool, too. :-)

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  11. I love the idea of covering miles by pedaling the sewing machine. I have very good memories of my best friend's mother at her hyper active Singer. They had a real movie theater type popcorn machine amongst the sewing things so I got Pavloved into salivating for popcorn whenever I heard a sewing machine.
    You've got a good memory for your pedal pals. I can honestly say all but two of my cars have been clinking, clanking, clattering collections of caliginous junk.

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    Replies
    1. hahahah. Sewing machine whirl, ooh, it's time for popcorn. I love it, Jeanna. Caliginous, that's a new obscure word for me.

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  12. I'm in love with your pink road bike with front basket. I wonder if Molly would stay in there.

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    1. Nope. I tried it once. But, wouldn't we have looked good, Tilda-Hilda, Molly, and me.

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    2. Better than Dorothy and Toto (that caliginous deal is what the wizard calls the Tin Man).

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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