Bikes and Forts

It’s nice outside today, so I went for a long-ish walk with Mr Brodykins.  Along the way, we passed a small dead-end, cul-de-sac street where upon children played on a tire swing and had a game of street hockey on the go.  I almost paused to take a photo, as if capturing someone else’s moment would somehow preserve it in time and make it mine.

I have plenty of my own moments, however, so we carried on our way.  It did manage to conjur up my memories of some of those similar childhood antics, though.

I think, even though we also played street hockey and had swings, with us it was more bikes and forts.  It was small town Ontario in the 70’s and early 80’s, and we didn’t even lock our doors for at least part of that.  We went out to play, the whole village was our playground, and the main rule was that we had to be home before the streetlights came on.  Which we failed at on a regular basis, arguing that there was no way to know WHEN the lights would come on, so how could we know when to start heading home?

Um…because it was starting to get dark?


We were always out on our bikes.  And when we weren’t physically riding, there were no locks or bike racks.  We just tipped them over and left them by the side of the road until we needed them again.  En masse, usually.  That’s how we knew where to find one another.

Ramps were a big thing, too.  Anything from an uneven sidewalk to a plank leaning on a stack of newspapers would service as a means to a jump.  We destroyed so much stuff, yet still survived to tell the tale.  Remarkably, looking back on it now.

Someone not me had a Green Machine.  I’m still kind of jealous of that.

Anything could serve as a fort, too.  Blankets, of course, or a section flattened out of long grass or lilac bushes, a platform in a tree.  Playing indoors, we even used books opened and standing in a ‘v’ and lined up to create rooms and the like.  Sometimes less creative areas served as forts, as well.  Like the old ice cream trailer thingy.  Until the police got involved, of course.


For a while, a group of us created our own version of The A-Team.  Except without the helping people thing.  I was the only girl, so of course I was Hannibal.  The minister’s son got to be Amy.  We set up a bank account that eventually closed with something like $0.14 or something in it.  We’d had a bit more in it, but we’d decided to build a wee fire and have hot dogs.

We were pretty hardcore.