I probably got my first bike when I was 8 or 9, a 16 inch little bike with streamers on the handlebars. Dad taught me by running alongside holding the seat, and letting go when he felt like it… I remember getting really mad at him for letting go when he said he wouldn’t. Needless to say, I fell a bunch of times. Only years later did my sister and I learn that Dad didn’t know how to ride a bike when he taught us – he had never had one…
After that was a 20in. purple Huffy, I really liked that one. I rode it to the neighborhood pool for that dreadful summer on the swim team. Then, when my sister needed mine, I got another bike from Toy’s R Us, this time a 24in, my first one with the brake levers on the handlebars.
This morning, I got my 4th bike ever – a used Schwinn hybrid type – just over a hundred bucks. Riding the streets of Austin this afternoon, I felt like I was learning to drive all over again. Stop. Lean. Balance. Wait for the light to change. Push off, just right, check behind me to make sure cars know I’m here. Change gears properly. Check the road for potholes and glass. Listen for approaching cars. Which way do I go here? The road looks totally different from a bike.
I’m trying to figure out if I can bike home from the office instead of driving. This afternoon I navigated the not-busy roads all the way to shoal creek and 2222, about a 9 mile round trip. It was wonderful – a gorgeous day and I felt like I could fly, feeling the wind rush by.
I think I’ve found a new environmentally friendly and exercise-giving hobby.