Yesterday I rode my bicycle to the library.
In the abstract, it sounds silly for a man in his 50s to be riding a bicycle. But in the moment, I am astounded by how much I love it.
Part of it is just plain old common sense. It isn't far to the library, but that's a smidgen less gasoline used, and I hadn't done any other exercising over the weekend. But there's something more than that.
Mine is not a fancy bicycle. It's got 15 speeds, five more than the last bicycle I had, but I really only use the middle five. It takes me back. I was very independent for a seven-year-old. My working parents would let me cycle to the swim club, a couple of miles away. (I wonder if parents let their kids ride their bicycle that far anymore.) I used to ride my bicycle to the nearest Baskin-Robbins, when a single scoop cone cost 12 cents. That Baskin-Robbins is still there, but of course, the cones are more expensive now.
I remember my friend Jim Scott and I used to take a circuitous route up into the same hills, just to find ourselves at the top of a long and winding road. Sometimes we'd have to walk our bikes for part of the trip, but oh, that wonderful feeling of navigating those rolling curves on the way down. The downhill made the uphill all worth it.
These days, I sometimes cycle up to a nearby county park to go hiking, and it's a bit of a climb to get there. But oh, baby, that ride back down. The breeze, the ability to stop pedaling and be motionless, almost to be flying through the air, like a dream but wide awake.
There aren’t too many ways to feel like a kid again, but being on a bicycle sure is one of them.