i forgot just how great it is to ride a bicycle. i recently got on a bike for the first time in nearly 5 years and a flood of memories rushed in. some of those memories came from my sore bottom after sitting on a bicycle seat for 2 hours. some came from the flow of wind rustling through my hair, across my face, whistling sometimes loudly in my ears.
i return to memories from my youth, growing up in a household where my mother could not afford a car leaving us to bicycle subsistence. i rode to trader joe’s last weekend and found i had not lost my ability to balance grocery bags dangling from the handlebars. at least now the bags are cloth and therefore do not shred, leaving its contents in the gutter, after catching the spokes of the front tire.
as i race down the river trail path, lowering my torso as low to level with the handlebars to pick up as much speed as possible through a declining set of curves, i am reminded of early morning rides racing down the streets from The Point in my hometown. the exhilaration of knowing that one wrong bump along the road and you are down for the count, road-rash and all; the roar of the wind as it rushes over my body, competing today with the rush of river to my right.
and then there is the memory of the first time i rode solo, no training wheels, no adult guidance or supervision, and drove my bike headlong in a hedge of roses, thorns and all. today though, there is no sting, only the joy of being on two wheels, my body working as it was raised to work, pedaling along this path of life.