Hello there. I’m Lynn and I will be co-blogging along with Andy. Originally, I planned to start my first post talking about my new bike and why I chose it, but then I decided why not start at the very beginning? This is the first of a two-part post about how I found myself in my thirties lusting for a “good bike” and how cycling became part of my lifestyle.
I don’t remember being a huge cyclist as a kid. I remember being fine with training wheels for much longer than what was acceptable by my peers, because falling scared me. Nothing could shame me into giving up the safety of those two extra wheels, and I probably would have left them on for years if my dad hadn’t grown exasperated and decided to take them off. Riding on two wheels for the first time is one of the few clear childhood memories I have.
I had this ridiculous banana seat bike, which embarrassed me because no one I knew had a banana seat. I remember practicing for what seemed like an eternity one day. My dad was doing the whole parental hold-back-seat-and-run thing as tradition dictates. A neighbor stopped by and got into a chat with my dad and after a few minutes, I was really getting irritated with waiting. I guess I was in the zone at this point. I should preface this by saying even as a kid, I was kind of a smart ass. So I had the bright idea that I would get my dad’s attention and demand that we get going, and then I would PEDAL LIKE HELL REALLY FAST forcing my dad to really run SUPER fast to stay up with me, just to show him I meant business and wasn’t going to put up with these unnecessary interruptions. So when he started to say his goodbyes, I took off. I tore into those pedals with a fury, determined to teach him a lesson. I was flying, I would ride this bike faster than ever before in my life, just to be a little brat.
In my head I was thinking “Ooooh he’s going to be so out of breath, I’ve really showed him!” I was drunk off the thrill you get as a child when you know you are being a little shit, but are fairly confident your feigned innocence will protect you from any repercussions.
I slowed my pedaling to allow myself a quick glance back to smirk in triumph, and instead, I saw nothing but the road behind me, and beyond that -far behind that – was my dad, as big as an ant, still chatting it up with that damn neighbor in our driveway. I had been had.
I don’t know what happened after that. I remember being torn between feeling triumphant that I had finally graduated from those lousy training wheels and complete annoyance in being tricked. At some point I probably also realized it was just me balancing and most likely I wiped out. I am not sure. Then I rode some more. I recall trading up to a mountain bike at some point, and then we moved and then I was a teen with a car. I most likely never got on a bike again after the 6th grade. It would be nearly 15 years later before I’d have any desire to ride again, but I’ll get into that in my next post.