It is hard to believe that it had been two years since I got back on a bike from a 18 year break. Not really sure I even know why I took the break, life as a teenager, or maybe it was the rollerblading stage (don’t act like you did not own a pair). I loved my bike as a kid. It was the thing that my parents took away from me when I got into trouble (I know what you are thing, you got in trouble?).
My first bike was pink with a white seat, some sweet training wheels and streamers. I think I got it at age 5 and my dad was the one to teach me to ride it. According to dad I was a fast learner and the training wheels came off not long after I got the bike. I remember riding up and down the street on that bike having no fear. For my 10th birthday I got a brand new blue/green 13 speed Schwinn that was my friend for the 3 years. I remember taking some really nasty falls on it, of course with no helmet. I loved that bike. It is the bike I learned how to ride with no hands, the bike that took me to the gas station for Nitro Soda and Now and Laters. Both of my childhood bikes are still around and were well loved.
I am pretty sure I did not touch a bike for 18 years after that. Not even sure how much I thought about riding a bike in those years. Wish I had, it would have made going to class in college a lot faster and saved me parking ticket money. So what sparked my interest again? Not even sure about that. One day while working at the kayak shop I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to ride a bike again and was looking into buying one. He told me he had one I could borrow for a while to make sure I still like it. I got it from him right before Labor Day and played around a bit but nothing major. Until the Mayors Hike and Bike on Labor Day (the paddle part was not around till the next year). Another friend asked if I wanted to ride with him for fun. Um, sure? Little did I know that it was going to be an 18 mile ride. Boy was I not prepared. No water, no chamois, platform peddles, and cotton. I did however have a helmet and discover I still loved being on a bike.
I eventually gave the borrowed bike back and got my own (new to me) bike in February of 2011 and have since obtained two more, raced in 12 bike races, joined a team, run a team, run a bike race, announced a bike race, ridden over 1000 miles, lost weight, driven all over to ride/race my bike, and made friends that I am not sure how I lived without.
Over all I am so happy I found something that makes me happy and keeps me healthy. I get sad when I cannot ride. Recently the doctor told me I had to take almost 3 weeks off the bike because of breathing issues. It was so hard. I almost had my sister hide the bikes from me so I would not sit and look at them with longing. I know understand the euphoric felling people talk about when working out, I feel it when I am on my bike, every time. And that is why I leave you with this……