It’s Not Just For Kids Anymore
Of course it isn’t. And every time I’ve seen the Tour de France, I realize it never was.
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike (at least, without training wheels)? I do. I remember spending the entire summer of my 7th year on the planet with skinned knees and bruised ego because I just couldn’t get the hang of it, and kept falling off. All that winter I made my plans to attack the problem once the snow left the Buffalo area. I planned to start very close to the house, in the paved driveway, and use my hand against the side to keep me up. I’d get only a couple of feet, I figured, before I’d need to do that, but little by little I’d go further. By the end of the summer I’d be able to go the length of the house, and then, I reconned, I’d be “riding”.
Have you ever tried get on a bicycle right next to a house? It can’t be done. Instead, what actually happened was that I put the bike in the middle of the driveway, got on and rode. Period. Went to the end of the block in utter amazement and joy and felt like I was flying – and very, very free (a feeling next felt the day I got my driver’s licence, if I recall correctly).
My brother (18 months younger) saw me coming back down Cambria Street, came running out of the house, immediately said that he wanted to ride, got on the bike and rode away. Sheesh! And I was soooooo much older! Five minutes later, our kid sister, barely out of toddlerhood, gets on and rides away.
Thus started my vocation as a teacher.
Anyway, I started riding a bit this spring, but a bad valve and a stretch of rainy weekends kept me from doing too much of that. So in a determined effort to lose some (excess) weight and get back into some semblance of shape, I’ve been getting in about 40 minutes of exercise in a small workout area set aside at my place of employment instead. It’s just a couple of treadmills, a couple of exercise bikes, a small universal and a TV, but I’ve been at it for months now, three, or more usually four times a week. The AstroWife and I have been walking several times a week too, not terribly far – a couple of miles at a stretch – enough to keep that delicate balance between enjoyable and doing some good.
And boy, has it! This 4th of July weekend was the perfect for riding, so I got the bike out. Much to my amazement (and amusement), I didn’t have to get into low(est) gear to crawl up the hills, but instead, I was powering up them at a fast clip in high gear. Okay – maybe they’re not the highest hills you’ve ever seen, but they were much harder for me earlier this year. It felt like an accomplishment. I even recognized that childhood memory of flying and freedom, very appropriate for the 4th.
Now if I could only get the BBD to do a little bike blogging…