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Published August 28, 2008 More Info »
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Published August 28, 2008
Remember the last time you rode your bike?  The wind, the sun, the bike, the fun! I don’t mean lately, but when you were a kid, agewise. If you’re a kid now, you won’t understand this. Yet.  Maybe. I rode my bike a lot as a kid.  It had ape hanger handlebars, banana seat, sissy bar, slight fork.  I could pop a wheelie off a bottle cap, then stop on a dime with pedal brakes.  I was in pure heaven every second I rode my bike. On Saturdays I was gone.   After cereal, and maybe a  cartoon or two.  Gone till sundown.  Looking at a map it’s astounding to see the distances I rode as a kid.   A flat tire was devastating to me.  It took forever to get fixed, but when I got on my bike again it was Christmas.  We were best friends, and I rode with a huge smile our first day back together.   The wind, the sun, the bike, the fun. I had other interests; I was in Boy Scouts and played some basketball.  And in the alley my little brother and I played frisbee, football, baseball, basketball, hockey, 4-square, steal-the-bacon… ...hide-and-seek game with a dozen or more kids that spread all over the block...  ...we had a ping-pong table in the garage, and during the summer the neighbors came around to play ping-pong and chess till 1 or 2 a.m., or later... ...the best frozen custard stand in the world was a block over.  At some point all those things came to an end. I don’t know when I stopped riding my bike.  By high school I guess.  I try to think about it, to picture the last day I rode it.   It was probably a sunny Saturday, or maybe Labor Day before freshman year.  I don’t remember riding it in high school. Different interests, I suppose.   Eventually school, jobs, friends, and cars are the end of most “kid” activities. I don’t remember when the last day was, but I wonder about it. If I could just go back to the last bike ride. What changed after that?  What kept me from riding my bike again and having fun, like so many miles before?  I don’t know and don’t care; when I reminisce about my bike it always takes me to that final day that I rode my bike as a kid. To be there and ride my bike again, before it was the last time, when it was still just another bike ride.  As I think of it, I'm there again.  No thoughts of this being the last ride.  The wind, the sun, the bike, the fun.