Yes and yes. The questions: Does Bridget DeVosVaudt still own her childhood bicycle, and does she still ride it around her neighborhood?
Just like her siblings, DeVosVaudt received a new bicycle for her eighth birthday. She hand-picked a red and cream colored Cactus Rose by Huffy. She and her sister, Carissa, spent summers pedaling around Storm Lake. On Mondays, they often rode from park to park, collecting pop cans to redeem at Hy-Vee.
“We would generally spend the money at the SuperAmerica and load up on gum and candy, Big League Chew and bubble gum,” says DeVosVaudt with a laugh. “That was the goal, get enough money for candy.”
Other memories include winning a prize at a bicycle rodeo, giving rides to friends and pulling a push mower for several blocks the summer she mowed lawns. In the fifth grade, she mastered the balancing act of riding her bike while toting her French horn to school.
As a teenager, she upgraded to a cool 10 speed, but the new bike couldn’t replace the Cactus Rose.
DeVosVaudt states, “My sister and I would come home from college and ride around the neighborhood on our banana seat bicycles just to be silly. We lived on a hill, and we would put our legs out and try not to steer and go down.”
She’s now added a one-of-a-kind basket to the Cactus Rose. An avid seamstress and recycler, she used the shell of her daughter’s old bike basket, a shoelace, curtains and random scraps of material to create the basket.
“I offered it to my daughter, but she passed,” DeVosVaudt states and smiles. “In the end, it matched the Cactus Rose.
DeVosVaudt likes to ride her bike to the neighborhood book club.
She adds, “The neighbors laugh at me when I get on it. I’ll carry my book and a bottle of water in my basket. Look out, here I come on the Cactus Rose.”
There is no need to question whether or not DeVosVaudt has big summer plans for the little bike. She does: a jaunt on the High Trestle Trail and an appearance in the kiddie parade at SummerFest.
“This summer, the Cactus Rose will be my main mode of transportation in the neighborhood,” DeVosVaudt says. “She deserves to shine.”
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”