My first bike was red—a tricycle whose pedals I couldn’t reach.
As a slightly older child, I graduated from training wheels to a purple-perfect two-wheeler. It sported a plastic banana seat that sparkled in the sunshine. I loved it so much, I sometimes still rode it even as a teenager.
Then came the bikeless years of college, graduate school, my work as a young professional.
But as an adult, I down-graded to stationary versions of the bicycle. These weren’t purple. Their seats didn’t sparkle and blink in the noonday rays of indoor, air-conditioned rooms. I was going nowhere.
There’s no guessing how many of those bikes I owned, how many ultimately broke—how many wore out against the endless pedaling toward some distant nowhere. No place on a map is hard to get to. They’re no coordinates for standing still.
Maybe I was goalless. Maybe I lacked ambition. Maybe the endless pedaling against bipolar disorder kept me immobile.
But when I met Sara I had an actual bike again, one I’d ridden with my nephew in a Fourth of July Parade.
I’d cycled the streets of the downtown neighborhood where I lived.
But I wanted Sara to ride with me. In fact, I’d been trying for 6 years to get Sara on a bike.
I’d begged and whined, pleaded and implored. But asking and then insisting fell on deaf-to-the-joys-of-biking ears.
The weirdest part of this, however, is that Sara used to cycle seriously—sometimes averaging 100 miles-a-day on cross-country bike tours.
So, it seemed reasonable that Sara and I would bike together.
It could have been our motorbike accident in Thailand that turned her off—or maybe my failed efforts to ride a bike in Vietnam.
But this past week’s visit with yet another WordPress blogger seems to have turned things around—in a literal sense.
When I “met” cyclist-writer Chattermaster, it was again “love at first blog,” as my buddy Miranda has said of our blogosphere-turned-real-world friendship. Chattermaster spoke in an email about the joys of cycling. She blogged about it, too.
She suggested in comments that Sara and I do some cycling with her. I explained why that wasn’t possible—that Sara didn’t bike anymore—that Sara said cycling 60 pounds ago and biking now were two very different things—that the latter wasn’t possible.
Sara and I had a blast chatting with that Master of Chatter and her “Husband.” We ate lunch at Third Street Stuff in downtown Lexington and dinner at Cheapside Restaurant—a visit at our house in between. We talked blogging. Our new cycling friends even came bearing gifts.
But even more importantly, these friends came carrying bikes. Sure it took a tricycle to get Sara on the move again. But, remember, I had started on a red trike, as well—way back then when I was little, with legs too short to reach the pedals.
But like legs, people grow. They stretch. They reach. They ride again.
So Saturday, Sara and I got bikes once more—one borrowed, one bought used. (Thanks to Nancy and Mindy.)
We took a spin around the block that evening, and Sara spent Sunday cleaning, shining, polishing our bicycle beauties.
So it seems somehow synchronistic, somehow perfect, that my push to meet WordPress blogging buddies in real life would involve our ultimate return to biking, as well. It’s all part of the same cycle—the spiral of special blogging has brought to me.
Plus, as many of you already know, Sara has been the ride of a lifetime.
What kind of bike did you own as a kid? Do you still cycle, even as an adult? What metaphor would best characterize your life?