Looking back, having and riding a bicycle seems like such a milestone of childhood. I'd seen the older kids riding them, of course. I remember staring at a 10-speed as the girl upon it had stopped to talk with my mom. Looking at those skinny tires and trying to figure out how it was possible that anyone could ride such a thing.
Luckily, that Christmas I got my first bicycle, the outside was not covered in snow. I could bundle up and test ride it right away. What a rush of freedom that was!
|Fashion Disaster on Wheels|
I'm sure I received other gifts that Christmas, but I have no idea what they were. And I don't know that I can say it was the "best" gift ever, but I loved my new bicycle. And the infatuation didn't wear off after those initial first "dates". I remember riding it a lot, even if just around our little block. Eventually, the training wheels came off.
One of the most vivid memories I have from those years is when I learned to handle the 2-wheeler. My dad had been patiently pushing me up and down the sidewalk, holding onto the seat. At one point, I realized he was just jogging along beside me, no longer holding on, and so excited. I had graduated!
Bigger bicycles and more fun followed. The neighborhood kids all got around on them. If someone got a new one, we all looked on, and eventually, the owner let us take a spin. In high school, my close friend Ingrid and I would go on long rides on roads we probably should not have been bicycling on. Ingrid sadly and suddenly passed away while just in her early 30s, and I'm so glad to have the memories of those rides.
So many years have passed since that Christmas of the Bicycle. And I don't know what became of that little red bike with no name. I have no desire for competitive bicycling, but I'm not surprised that, at my riper age *ahem*, my bicycles are my chosen methods of transportation. It's hard to describe in words the difference between commuting on a bicycle and commuting in a car, but the bicycle experience is just so many nice things the car isn't. The line of separation is thick.
|Older face... |
Not religiously epiphanous or anything, just better.
I was at the bike shop recently, where all of the employees are avid cyclists who ride to work and beyond. One of them mentioned to me, "Whenever I see you on the path, you've got such a big grin on your face".
Really? I hadn't thought about it. I guess that's a sign of a great gift.
Linking up with Mama Kat this week, for the prompt:
4. Best or worst gift you ever received.