We asked and you delivered.
When we launched our “Upgrade Your Ride” contest earlier this month, asking folks to send us their favorite memory on a bicycle, we received 115 submissions.
That being said, it was hard to pick just one standout, so we narrowed it down to 10 (which still proved to be challenging), based on originality, creativity and humor.
Congratulations to Shelby native and Mansfield resident Kary Anderson-McBride, who topped the list and will receive a $500 gift card from Y-Not Cycling for describing in vivid detail her most memorable bike experience.
Be sure to check out the top 10 submissions below -- they're all worth a read.
10. Penny Doyle
My favorite memory of riding a bicycle is growing up on Pleasant Street in Mount Vernon, Ohio and always having somebody ride on the handle bars of my little pink bike with a white banana bike seat! Not safe but a whole lot of fun, that is until your purse gets tangled in the front wheel and you and your passenger flip off. I can remember riding that bike to the Community Pool (now known as Hiawatha Water Park) and not worrying about locking your bike up at the pool. Times have changed! You now ride a bike with protective gear and always have your bike lock when leaving your bike unattended. I remember riding my bike on all of the side streets in the Pleasant Street School area and not having to worry about the issues we face today.
9. Jenna Wolford
When I was a kid we camped quite a bit. I loved spending the day at the beach at Pleasant Hill Campground. My favorite, most memorable times on my bike was as a young teen riding my bike with my friend through the shaded tree canopy-lined road that led from the campground to the swimming beach on the lake. I can still feel the breeze of the cool wind rushing past as we made our way to our destination during the hot summer months. It was on this road I learned to master riding hands free.
8. Gregory Darling
Over 30 years ago my dad and I came into the old store down from Ashland hill and looked at some of the 10-speed or more mountain bikes. I found one I liked and that fit, but the deal was I had to use my money that I would make from my paper route to get the bike. This is what I wanted and there wasn't going to be any help from Mom and Dad. By the fall time I had enough money and there was even a small sale going on so I was able to get my new mountain bike, plus a water bottle and bike chain for locking it up at school. While the bike needs new tires and a new seat to this day I still have it and my son rides it from time to time and my daughter would like to but just isn't quite tall enough yet to do so. Her time is coming soon enough.
7. Candy Brenner
My favorite memory happens every time I ride my bike. I am still riding the 26" Red Schwinn I got for Christmas in 1960.
6. Elizabeth Bocka
I’m at the top of a short, steep hill, straddling a garage sale road bike, and eyeing the dry puddle filled with loose gravel that sits at the exact point I need to make a 90 degree turn to avoid the pine trees on the other side of the drive. My sisters and brother and I have created a racing run on questionable terrain, and I need to get the fastest time. My heart is racing. I’m 12.
My favorite memory is that feeling in my chest: panic + exhilaration + deep need to win while balancing on top of the seemingly tenuous combination of gears and pedals and chains and handlebars. The feeling continued past the spray of pebbles, cutting too close to the pine needles, and finally amped up on the grassy open downhill where I could gain momentum and shave seconds pumping as hard as I could.
Getting the fastest time was a high for sure, but so was not wiping out on loose gravel! And I’ve managed to replicate the feeling (adult version) with road biking and pedal clips and Marion Ave hills.
5. Anna Reasor
Favorite memory or most memorable, not sure which. Many years ago I received a brand new bike for my birthday. It was the best bike on the block. I was so proud. I decided to show it off and had convinced my little sister to get on the back for a ride through the neighborhood. Growing up in Arizona you learn there are things you need to stay clear of, such as scorpions, snakes, tarantulas. Didn't see them often, but you knew they were out there. What you saw every day were cacti of every variety. Not allowed to ride in the street left only the sidewalk. Many folks back then decorated their yards with beautiful cacti. So as we were showing off and demonstrating my skills I saw a snake right in front of us. I panicked! As I swerved to miss the snake I went into someone's beautiful manicured cacti-filled lawn. Things kind of became a blur after that. We both landed right in the middle of the most cacti I had ever seen. Both of us crying and bleeding. I will never forget that ride.
4. Mathew Kuhn
I was around 13 and was with my mom shopping at garage sales. Like most garage sales, it was kind of a boring day, looking at lots of used clothes and wore out toys when we stopped at our last sale and I saw it, a red Schwinn Continental road bike that was just my size. The red paint with slight gold flakes sparkled in the sun light. I had to have it but the $100 price was more than this 13-year-old could afford.
I showed it to my mom in hopes that she would see it for the beautiful piece of machinery it was and offer to pitch in and help me to take this beauty home, no luck.
We left the garage sale and mom dropped me off at home while she went to do the grocery shopping. I was disappointed but understood that $100 was a lot of money and went in the house to enjoy the TV and video games.
A few hours passed and my mom was home and asked me to come out and help carry in the groceries. I went out to help and my jaw dropped when I saw the red Schwinn in her trunk, it was now mine!
3. Edwin Tharp
My favorite bicycle memory includes the TOSRV that I road for the first time around 10 years ago. It was so inspiring to see how many bicycle enthusiasts participated in the 200-mile ride from Columbus to Portsmouth and back. The pace lines set by that many riders truly made me feel like I was in a peloton at the Tour De France. The camaraderie, scenery and general good times brought forth by cycling is something all should enjoy. Pedaling away melts away all the stress, anxiety, and fear that life can bring and really connects you with the road, environment, and nature.
2. Dane Henry
As a kid I grew up in Butler and my neighborhood friends and I would spend many of our summertime days riding out to the nearby back roads in search of adventure that the neighborhood didn't provide. We had many destinations such as visiting an old one-room brick school house, an old river mill, Hemlock Falls, some dirt trails near the old Clear Fork Ski Lodge, among many others. I treasure those days on our bikes, making new discoveries in our small town or simply revisiting places just to hang out. I now live in Lexington and I try often to ride back to many of those past destinations trying to relive those glorious long summer days spent riding with my friends.
1. Kary Anderson-McBride
Her name was Desert Rose. Her appearance was striking. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Slim, tall, and wearing tassels: she beckoned me to take a chance. I had to be brave. I was no longer in the world of playing it safe and lagging behind. I scanned the landscape around me and saw the blurs of freedom and heard the screams of delight. Now it was my turn. It was my chance to join the cool club and leave my innocence behind me. No more tricycles. No more Big Wheels. Forget about roller skates. A Huffy banana seat bike complete with a handle bar basket to carry my Cabbage Patch stood before me glowing. Emmie Sue and I would fly like the wind on this lavender and white beauty. The fourth graders would be in awe when this brave second grader sped up behind them. The playground, the library, Ben Franklin's candy aisle all beckoned me. I was at the end of my driveway confinement. The sidewalks were no longer my prison. It was the summer of 1984, and I was finally free.