While at work the other day, I needed to make a quick trip to the post office. I was without a car (I usually take the bus to work) and the closest post office was about a 30-40 minute walk from my office. Luckily, we have a bike program at work and one of the bikes was available. I looked at the route and realized that there were bike lanes the entire route. I grabbed a helmet and decided to give it a try.
It had been years since I had last ridden a bike. I had never ridden a bike in bike lanes along busy roads. At first, I was worried about looking like a dork with the helmet. However, I threw it on because I, as an adult, understand the necessity of safety gear (I’m very lucky that my lack of safety gear as a youth did not result in any long term injuries). The next hurdle for me to overcome was the apprehensiveness I felt riding a bike along busy streets. The first time a car drives past you doing at least 35 mph is an eerie feeling. I was able to adapt to this situation and this feeling. After a few minutes, I found something unexpected: I was enjoying myself. I could feel the wind and a smile slowly crossing my face. It was a joy to just be riding, to be doing something I haven’t done in years, something that harkens back to childhood. I would ride my bike all over my hometown as a kid, literally from one side of town to the other, and I could feel traces of that freedom, of that exhilaration.
I’m now considering the purchase of a used bike, probably off of craigslist, just something to get me back on the road, to get me into it.