About 15yrs ago, I bought a bike at the urging of some friends. I was just out of college and hadn’t been on a bike since I was 12yrs old. I felt foolish. I felt giddy. I felt really out of shape. I did it anyway. The first time out I felt awkward. I felt pain in my ass from the seat. I felt silly. I felt exhilarated. I proceeded to fall in love with my bike. I learned to trail ride and jump logs. I learned to ride down stairs. I rode in the mud…I fell in said mud. I laughed. I bought toe clips and biking gloves…handle bar extensions. I rode everyday. I loved it. I once tried to jump a curb at a busy intersection in our city and missed. I landed, quite painfully, on my side…my legs dangling in the street…my bike in peril with oncoming traffic. I tore the muscles in my side, knocked the wind out of myself, and all I could whisper to my frantic husband was, “bike. grab bike. grab bike.”
Fast forward a few years (new puppy, house, marriage, new baby) and I found myself riding less and less. I put the bike in storage. Looking back on it, I should have known that was a gigantic red flag waving in my face, but I didn’t see it then. Or perhaps I chose not to see it. Either way, the bike remained in storage for years until my son began wanting to ride his bike beyond our neighborhood street. With my daughter big enough to ride in a Burley, we pulled our bikes out of storage and started a new family tradition. That was four years ago and the tradition continues. In warmer months, we’re out every weekend on our bikes. Downtown, college campuses, the art museum, our neighborhood, city trails….always in search of a new place. For Christmas this past year, I bought my son riding gloves because he kept stealing mine last summer. He’s eager to hit some wooded trails this year and I’m eager to join him. It’s been an awesome way to bond as a family and I’m hoping for bigger biking adventures as they get older. I’ve always wanted to go to Moab. I still love to pedal on my own, too. It’s good therapy.
Been on a bike lately? Give it a go. Create a new tradition. Find a new way to clear your mind. Feel silly. Feel exhilarated. The pain in your ass from the seat doesn’t last long, I promise. Don’t have a bike? Rent one. Don’t feel like riding alone? Find a tour. Live in the Indianapolis area? Check ActiveIndy out!