My Very First Little Bike

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - My First Bike - Red Vintage Tricycle - Doodlewash

Like most little kids, my first bike came with three wheels. I tend to imagine all of my childhood rides in red, but I honestly can’t remember the color. What I remember most is the thrill of being able to roll about and go wherever I liked. I’m sure my mother has pictures somewhere of me on the actual tricycle, but all I have now are my memories. I’m equally not sure it was quite as cool looking as this one and was most likely something far more plain and simple. But it wouldn’t have mattered in the least. Getting your first set of wheels is a thrilling occasion. Sure, it really wasn’t possible to go faster than the speed of walking, and any child at a run could outrace you, but having those wheels made it all okay. It was chance to be like those big kids I’d seen on their two-wheeled bicycles as they zoomed past me. One day, that would be me, but in that moment I could dream I was just like them.

From here, I was upgraded to a bike with training wheels. It seemed like a bit of step backward since there were now four wheels, and my entire goal was to make it to just two. Riding on two wheels seemed like magic to watch at the time. It really seemed like it should be impossible. Those kids on 10-speed bikes who sailed down the street on the thinnest wheels I’d ever seen where my heroes. Sometimes without any hands on the handlebars and always without helmets (this was in the early 70’s after all. People weren’t ignoring the rules, there were just several hundred on parenting that hadn’t been written yet, and we all mysteriously managed to survive anyway). I eventually got a new bike myself, of course, and could travel farther from home than ever before on an endless number of adventures. This lasted several years and I was initially content, thinking I’d conquered one of life’s greatest challenges. But, as with most things in life, there’s always something a little better waiting just around the corner.

As happy as I was to be gliding around on two wheels, I weirdly started to find myself craving four again. I had just turned 15 and was learning how to drive something far more adventurous in the form of a car. Well, an old truck my parents let me use to practice. I was about to become as close to being an adult as one gets before actually becoming one. Though who can really say when we actually become one. I would be able to go wherever I wanted with my friends. Not just places in the neighborhood, but places far away from me. I would be able to go on dates and make out in the back seat! I would soon go to college and have my very own apartment, or compartment as the reality was, but still, it was going to be so amazing. I’d have a job and I would be entirely on my own! The independence I sought the moment I was born was just within my reach. Looking back, I only have to chuckle. We’re never truly on our own, thankfully, and life is never better than the version we learn most definitely requires others. But I was so busy shaping me back then that I was often too busy to stop and notice.  I was on an unstoppable trajectory and great things must surely be happening next, thanks to those three little wheels of my very first bike.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - My First Bike - Red Vintage Tricycle - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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37 Comments
  1. Mama Cormier 4 months ago

    I was sure you’d have streamer hanging from the handle bars.

  2. Jodi 4 months ago

    amazing job doodlewashing this trike!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Wonderful post recounting the wheeled milestones of childhood! I love your sketch of the red tricycle.

  4. Sean Kupisz 4 months ago

    Fantastic. That brought back a flood of memories about my very first candy apple red two wheel bike. Wow I was so excited! I remember how my cheeks hurt from being so excited! Thank you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sean! 😃💕 Awww the cheeks hurting from excitement! Love that! Totally know that feeling! (even now… I’m still a big kid! 😊lol)

  5. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    Amazing how we grow up wanting what we don’t have and spend our later years feeling fond of what we had. Contrary folk, we humans. I do love your rambles and I’m in awe of your paintings!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, we’re just never quite content, but I guess that’s why we also can end up doing awesome things!

  6. Lisa 4 months ago

    Wonderful trike painting! I remember getting back into biking in my early 30s. What a cool thing it was to have the wind in my face again. Reliving a bit of my youth was so much fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Aww yay! That’s awesome!! Yeah, riding a bike is still such a thrill!

  7. SnehLata Maheshwari 4 months ago

    Just remember that a baby is sitting in this bike. little charlie. Four wheel s r perfect lie.
    Beautiful 🥀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Yeah, Little Charlie had so many places that he wanted to go! hehe

  8. Anita Sinha 4 months ago

    This reminds me of my blue tricycle..Beautiful painting..!

  9. YesterdayAfter 4 months ago

    Very cute little red bike I remember mine too! 😉 And Congratulation Charlie and Philippe for the lovely Do Cook Book! Looks beautiful! 😉 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Carolina!! 😃💕 The more affordable Amazon version comes out this week! We got a little excited in making the premium one, but the hardback one is SO awesome looking!! 😊

  10. Rod Fletcher 4 months ago

    My grandson simply didn’t have that yearning, and I couldn’t understand him. The desire to be away from parental control, made it an imperative in my life, and my parents didn’t have today’s culture of taxi of mum and dad, so if I wanted to go somewhere, I walked, rode or didn’t go. I think it developed an independent streak I like.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      I totally agree! I love that sense of independence we had to form. I think it made a lot of difference later in life! 😃

  11. Pamela Smith 4 months ago

    The tricycle,you have captured it perfectly…

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    It shouldn’t surprise me that you would start out writing about a tricycle and move on to a wistful homage about traveling through life. You really are a great writer, Charlie, and a talented artist.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      And you’re an amazing encouragement to me, Sharon! 😃💕 Seriously, I can’t thank you enough for your comments as they help me keep forging on, even on days when it seems impossible to create these posts. Thanks, my friend!

  13. SHARON A HASCHALK 4 months ago

    Awww….. It’s adorable Charlie and you captured it perfectly. And as always I love your story!

  14. smzang 4 months ago

    I love the joy that your paintings and writings generate.
    This one makes my heart sing…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      And the joy of your comments makes my heart sing as well! Thank you so much, Sarah! 😃💕

  15. Leyla Torres 4 months ago

    Lovely tricycle art! I do remember the color of my tricycle…RED, and how it was placed on my bed as a gift from “Baby Jesus” on a Christmas day morning when I was four years old.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Leyla! 😃💕 Awww what a wonderful memory! Yes, that would definitely make sure you wouldn’t ever forget the color! Sweet!

  16. Susan Cuss 4 months ago

    I enjoyed that, Charlie. Great painting of your trike. We just enabled our grandson (1 yr old) by buying him his first set of wheels for Christmas: a big, red, plastic wagon. He loves it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 hehe… yay for grandparents and the way they enable us! LOVE!!

  17. Kaye Boggs 4 months ago

    First a trike,, then a bike, then the world! That’s you Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe… thanks, Kaye! 😃💕 I think that’s actually just all of us! And it’s always possible to make those dreams come true!

  18. iqra2095 3 months ago

    Lovely tricycle:)

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