14 January 2013

Biking Like A Kid

I think when I was a kid I had a pink Huffy bike with a banana seat and cruiser handlebars with streamers.  Did it have a sissy bar?  It might even have had a sissy bar.

I know I biked around the neighborhood with no helmet, up and down the steep hills in my New Hampshire town through drifts of gravel left after streets were sanded during winter storms, and I remember that gravel was treacherous, could pull you down to the ground if you weren't careful.

Kind of like the gravel I now ride through near the library to avoid a pair of rather treacherous intersections on a heavily traveled road through the campus where I teach, where I have to stand up on the pedals and keep moving or the tires will sink into the rocks and the bike will fishtail and fall.

The end of day came, then, when I heard my father's whistle.  I might have been poking the stones at the bottom of a stream with a stick, or lying on the big flat rock in a clearing watching the trees in the wind, or playing ball in the street with my brother and some neighborhood kids.  "Car!" came the occasional holler, and we'd scatter to the side of the road.

Riding my bike makes me feel a bit like a kid again, almost as if I could shed responsibilities and stress as I coast along city streets.  The Offspring, who has gotten to be a careful and observant rider, follows behind me, and we holler happily back and forth at one another as we dodge potholes and swerve around double-parked cars on our way to Hebrew School by way of the compost bins at the Greenmarket.

It's a nice way to start a Sunday morning.