#Write31Days – Oct 2 – Bike Ride

When I was a little kid, I never really learned how to ride my bike.  I didn’t see a need to ride my bike and that was my excuse for why I didn’t practice and/or learn to ride my bike without training wheels. Finally, I was encouraged (maybe read: forced) to learn to ride my bike on our long concrete driveway with my Dad by my side.  This task was much like learning to skip for me, a  Kindgergarten requirement, that took many a trip up and down the blue carpet of our hallway with my Mom beside me. 

I finally accomplished bike riding and enjoyed my freedom in our neighborhood.  I didn’t have too many friends who lived close by, but I did have a couple and one of the first families I ever babysat for was also in my neighborhood. 

One day coming home from around the corner I was coming down a little hill at the end of our street that was also slightly rough, we lived in a subdivision where the roads weren’t high on the County maintenance list, and my bike came apart.  Specifically the front tire somehow came off and I had a pretty good crash.  I remember laying there and yelling for help on the side of the road. But, no one came. 

Fear and/or reality set in that I needed to get up off the road and out of the way.  I picked up my bike and the tire and somehow limped the bike, tire and myself including a pretty good gash on my knee back home. Of course as soon as I got myself home the tears were in full force and I was in the bathroom for a treatment of peroxide and Mercurochrome on my knee.  Much like the day I fell off my horse, I was certain there was pretty good damage, but turned out it was nothing a few weeks of band aids and medicine couldn’t handle.  Looking back on that day, it’s agreed upon I probably should have had stitches.  But, what I have is a decent sized scar to bear. 

We moved from that house in town out to the country and there wasn’t really any need for riding my bike out there, so I pretty much didn’t ride a bike again for a long time!  Fast forward to my 30’s and I wanted a bike for a long time.  However, I had no where to keep it and really wasn’t sure about where all I would ride a bike. 

In the summer of 2013 my Mom and I made a quick trip to Walmart one day, and happened upon 2 bikes on end of season clearance.  A cool cruiser bike that was great for my Mom and a green bike that was perfect for me, it was my favorite color!  It also has gears and such, I guess it’s a mountain bike of sorts, but for me, it was a bike and my favorite color. 

We got those 2 bikes for early birthday presents and thanks to my year of living on the road, meticulously packing trailers with contents of a retail booth, we got both of those bikes in the back of the Expedition and headed home.  My Dad was pretty proud of our purchase as well and he immediately helped out with a few tweaks to each of them. 


My Mom and I had to immediately take them for a spin…#countryhipster

And, often times my Dad, Mom and I would go for an evening bike ride around our country road.  

There were many a day that bike was therapy for me due to the season of life I was living in.  Sometimes I rode with my Mom, sometimes my Dad and Mom and sometimes by myself.  We challenged each other for more laps and I was proud of my parents for taking on bike rides for exercise. 

I still ride my bike now, just in the suburbs vs. the country road.  It’s great exercise and a change in pace from jogging.  When I ride my bike I never wear headphones, so I’m caught by the sounds around me, birds, the wind, children, conversations, cars…all going about life along the routes I ride. 

While on a recent bike ride I thought about how similar it is to life…

….so many things we think we don’t “need” to know, or do; but look how they become something we really enjoy once we push through the fear and struggle to learn to enjoy. 

….the scars we gather along the way, they heal, but don’t go away.  But, they tell a story, a wound of life that has happened, but we’ve healed and moved past it, even getting back on the bike again.

….the paths and terrain that are familiar, or maybe brand new that we go down.  Sometimes that path is rough – full of pebbles and stones that get in our way, sometimes it is like brand new concrete – smooth sailing and we glide along.  Just like life, there are stumbling blocks and seasons of riding carelessly on an open road.

….sometimes it’s good to be by yourself and sometimes it’s good to have others riding along with you in the race of life.  If you have a bike, I’m up for a ride! 

Maybe you don’t ride a bike, or maybe you do.  Either way, I’m sure there’s something you used to do, that you learned to love, despite when it was hard and you need to go back to it.  It will come back to you, it’s just like riding a bike.  Though it might not always be easy, it will always be rewarding. 

I don’t typically take my phone when riding my bike, and on my ride last night, I just took a moment for a mental snapshot…

[Insert image here]
standing up, pumping on the pedals
gears on hardest levels for extra workout
breeze blowing
looking across the lake
little tiny soccer players practicing
deep breath, soaking it in
Life, sometimes it’s just like riding a bike, 

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