I bought a bike. With a basket. It’s periwinkle with muted lime rims. She is an old timey easy rider. Wide set handle bars. A white spring seat. Whitewall tires underneath glossy white fenders.
I’ve been wanting a bike for a few years now but I kept finding an excuse not to follow through. My daughter has a bike and I taught her how to ride it. My son has one and has been struggling without the training wheels. I didn’t put the pressure on because of his condition. I figured he would get it eventually. My husband has a bike that I’ve never seen him ride. Now that you know our bike inventory you are probably wondering where I am going with this. Honestly, I have no idea. This is how writing works with me. Enjoying the ride?
A couple weeks back I showed my husband a picture of a bike and said “this is happening today” – he seemed less than thrilled but willing to see where it went. He knows I’ve had dreams of family bike rides.
We got down everyone’s bikes; adjusted seat heights, oiled chains, and filled the tires. Got my son on the little bike and taught him how to ride sans training wheels. He clearly needed a larger size but we got him going and built his confidence.
My husband hopped on his bike and headed down the road to make sure everything was in good working order. As he was coming back I was watching him and he had a smile on his face. Happiness was in the air.
The smile he had was the smile I wanted.
Memories flooded my brain and we worked on the bikes. As they came to thought I shared them with the kids. I struggle with childhood memories. I can’t remember a lot. That’s just PTSD. But I was remembering so much and so vividly that I needed to share them.
Washing my bike while my dad washed cars, my mom using nail polish to put my initials on the chain guard because another girl had the same bike, every detail of both bikes I had, riding on the pegs of my older brothers bike, bike competitions, learning how to patch a hole in a tire tube, my brother and I riding through rain soaked ball fields covering ourselves in mud as it kicked up from the wheels, the exact feeling when I learned to ride with no hands…
We headed to the store. My excitement was that of a child’s.
When we got home I got on her and headed down the road. I could have just kept going. I didn’t want to stop. I had genuine happiness as I rode.
We decided on a family ride to the park and back. Over a mile there. We loaded my basket with water and fruit snacks and off we went.
Over two miles and it felt like nothing. Just a smile that wouldn’t go away. I wish I would have bought the bike years ago. I wish I remembered how much I loved being on those two wheels.
When was the last time you rode a bike? I highly recommend getting one and going for a spin.
I have added “bike ride” to my list of mindfulness brain-break options. It’s so easy not to think while on a bike.