As cool as my bicycle was, it caused me both significant physical and psychological pain. I believe this was the very mode of transport that I can blame for my (so far) only broken bone. Back in the day, my older brother and I rode all over the Cape Cod town where we summered, because, back in the day, there was no Jerry Springer Show to clue parents in to how depraved most of America is. My brother and I were careening full-speed down a hill, feet off the pedals, after a morning at the beach, my 9-year-old brother's 10-speeder careening significantly faster than a 7-year-old's banana-seated bike. I hit a bump and wiped out on the hill, ending up on the side of the road. I had no helmet (of course, it was the 1970s), but, thankfully, was equipped with an 8-foot-high plastic flagpole capable of impaling me. My brother continued along, not concerned that his sister was rolled up in a fetal position in the middle of the road. This brother went on to become a doctor, a helper of the frail and infirm, but that is another issue entirely. I forlornly got up and pushed my bicycle down the hill and through the town until I got home. Eventually my parents noticed that I winced every time I moved, and took me to the Cape Cod Hospital ER, where it was determined I had broken my clavicle. My chunky grade-school shoulders were jammed into a flexible brace and I was given a sling for good measure. The positive upshot of this was my best friend Michelle brought me my first ever stuffed animal, a Snoopy, to cheer me up. I didn't know what to do with a stuffed animal, so I later gave it a name, Stevie (after Stevie Nicks), made a paper sign to put around its neck, and put it high up in my bookcase.
In addition to suffering GBI, another downside to having a bicycle with a banana seat is I always seemed to be the butt of a certain joke that, to this day, I don't get. Boys would invariably ask "Do you have a bike? What color is it?" Or something of that ilk. When I would answer "green," they would break into peals of laughter. I am guessing that neither these boys nor their older brothers knew what was funny about this. And I can only imagine what became of these young comedians.