I Wish We'd Looked After That Bike


1. My first new bike were a tandem,   (it’s Latin you know for ‘at length’) Now this were a juvenile tandem,

And it were well known for it’s strength,

Also it were first in the country,

Tailor-made to the size we would like, And today ‘twould be worth quite a fortune,

Oh, I wish we’d hung on to that bike.


2. I remember the first day we got it,

I went wi’ mi’ dad to the shop,

And we wheeled it back ‘ome between us,

Now and then on the pedals I’d hop,

It were all wrapped up in brown paper, I’d barely discarded my trike.

And now we’d this gleaming new tandem,

Unique to this day is that bike.


3.I were onni just four when we got it,

Our kid were a year or two more,

And we’d just got a baby wee sister,

So it were good for some ten year or more;

Our family were keen about cycling,

It appealed far more than a hike,

Every mile were a thrill on that tandem,

How I’ wish we’d looked after that bike.


4. To this day I still know what it cost us,

seven pounds ten shillin’ an’ six,

Said father “now when on that tandem,

W’ell be needing no more o’ your tricks,

And there’s one special thing to remember,

When you corner stop pedalling round,

And keep that inside crank upright,

Or that pedal will scrape on the ground.”


5. So when we’d stripped off the paper,

And adjusted the bars and each seat,

Our kid and me mounted that tandem,

And tried it out, there and then, in the street,

The neighbours all came out to view us,

Every Tom Dick, Harry and Mike,

Oh, how proudly we pedalled that tandem,

I do wish we’d hung on to that bike.


6. Roving around on that tandem,

Adventures we had by the score,

Sometimes when I got a bit lazy,

Brother said, “Can’t you push a bit more?”

That first summer we rode on that tandem,

A full thousand miles dressed alike,

Young princes we felt on that tandem,

We should have ta’en care o’ that bike.


7. Twas either Jubilee year or Coronation,

In the midst of the thirties decade,

Every village and town in the country,

Held a fair or a dressed-up parade,

We knew what we wanted to go as,

And we knew just the right not to strike,

So we set to and enamelled that tandem,

We should never ‘a done that to that bike.


8. The frame and the rims we repainted,

In sections red, white, and blue,

We dressed in the gear we’d been saving,

Said mother: “Let me look at you two,

I don’t need smudge your faces,

Put on these togs of you old Uncle Sid’s,

There, you look great on that tandem”...

We won first prize as the two Bisto Kids.


9. We once rigged a sail on that tandem,

Fixing mast were by far th’ ardest part,

We owertook PC Cook on that tandem,

And we’d gi’n ‘im a good ‘alf mile start,

We flew like the wind on that tandem,

Couldn’t stop for them cross-roads, nowt like,

Oh we did have some fun on that tandem,

It were part of our youth were that bike.


10. But I’d say the most vivid memory,

Occurred on a long down-hill run;

By then we were pretty well practised,

But we were, I suppose, still quite young,

At speed we approached a road junction,

On a bend with a fence and a dyke,

A mate swerved in front of that tandem,

We slammed in the fence with that bike.


11. Photos we have o’ that tandem,

Each one fair takes me back,

There’s one of us poised on a race-course,

We fancied ourselves on that track,

But it weren’t built for speed were’t that tandem,

Tho’ we’d go quite a lick, should we like,

We’d fly home like a shot in wet weather,

I do wish we’d got that bike.


12. Came the day, said Dad “you’re promoted,

I dropped both them seats yesterday,

Take care of your five year old sister,

She starts school a week from today.”

Now t’was my turn to steer and be wary,

To watch out for pot-holes and the like,

Years more we pedalled that tandem,

Good value we got from that bike.


13. At last we outgrew that tandem,

It went a full year hardly used,

It was so hard to part with that tandem,

But a good offer could not be refused;

Other youngsters then rode on that tandem,

I once heard it was left in a dyke,

We were privileged to pedal that tandem,

It deserved a museum did that bike.


14. Seventy years have rolled by for that tandem,

Maybe now in some shed at the back,

It lies forgotten and rusting,

Where it once shone a brilliant black:

Should you have news of that tandem,

How it’s now in some bicycle heaven,

PLEASE, pick up the phone and inform us,

On Barton six three two double six seven.

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copyright 2003 Dazxtm