Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Ode to my Bicycle

I learned how to ride my bike in the first grade.  My best friend, Stephanie, who lived down the block from me learned at the same time.  We would ride all over together.  Around the block, to the park and back, and as we got older, we were allowed to venture further.

By fourth and fifth grade we were riding all the way to the public pool during the days to swim.  We would pack lunches and ride out on the Cottonmill trail (about three miles) and spend the day riding on the dirt trails of Old Father Prairie, or swimming in the toilet-bowl-blue watering hole.  When you are eleven years old, your bike is your freedom.

Around the age of 14, and my bike was no longer "cool".  I had friends who could drive, and I would not be seen around town peddling my little pink ten speed.  I didn't get on a bike again until last year.

I got a brand  new bike from my parents for my birthday.  I rode it a few times last summer, and then didn't touch it again until this spring when I rode it once from my parent's house to my apartment.  I had MEANT to, but had just never gotten around to it.  I was too busy walking, or jogging, and Aiden wasn't quite fluent enough to take riding on the streets.  So my bike sat, in the corner of my living room.  Until D walked into my life.

I have always loved to ride my bike, don't get me wrong, I just never really had the full opportunity to fall in love with it again in the way I loved it when I was younger.  Until now.  D and I have been riding on trails with our children numerous times, and I've slowly started to get my grove back.  I'm slowly losing the fear of crashing, getting my bike legs working, and my butt has become used to spending time on the seat.

Yesterday, I hopped on my bike and rode to the gym.  It was liberating.  It was freeing.  Today, I thought about doing the same thing, but instead decided to keep going.  I put my headphones on, turned my iPod up, and for an hour and a half I just rode.

Up hills, and down hills, and around bends and turns and curves.  I felt the wind on my face and at my back.  I coasted downhill at speeds I haven't reached outside of an automobile in close to a decade and a half.  I have visions of traveling to do biking races.  In building up my endurance for long distances.  In doing some dirt trails, and forest trails, and more and more hills.

I have heard people talk about finding their "thing".  I hear runners talk about the high they get after a really intense run.  I have heard people talk about how doing this one thing makes them happy, lets them be who they are; and it's still early, but I think I have found that.

Now what the hell am I going to do once it snows?

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