Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

I started out my July 4th with a 22-mile bike ride along the beautiful Columbia River. Bicycling for me has always represented independence. I clearly remember the summer I practiced and practiced until I shed my training wheels and was off racing around the neighborhood with the other kids. My world opened up. The park, Shop City and corner store were now all mine to explore. I remember the days when my bike was my best friend, giving me distance from my hectic family life.

My bicycle was my main form of transportation for years. I didn’t get my drivers license until I was 23. When I got my first car, a 1979 Saab that I bought for $150, I always made sure my bike was in the trunk in case it broke down, which it did. I would just pull my bike out and ride home.

To this day, a nice ride is the best way I know to clear my head. And I love knowing that no matter what, if I needed to, the power of my legs and two wheels can get me almost anywhere. That’s independence.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I feel exactly that way about bike riding. I owned the neighborhood on my bike.
There's nothing like it.

Anonymous said...

I learned how to ride a bike when I was 27.

Five years and a couple of major crashes later, I'm still not very skilled, but the feeling of zooming down a trail near my house out toward eastern farmland helps me understand the wonder that most people began to experience as a kid.

Anonymous said...

Cool! If you can learn how to ride a bike at 27, there's hope for me becoming a driver at 49.