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BIKE RACKS IN FRONT OF THE TIME-LIFE BUILDING,...

When was the last time you rode a bike? With the exception of riding my bike from my apartment to the front of the complex to the bike racks, it has been several years for me.  By several years, I really mean close to 20 years.  Yea, really! I bought myself a new bike – well new to me anyways – in the spring because I wanted to take bike rides with my kids.  Noble thought, huh?

Well that 30-second ride to the bike rack kinda of scared me.  It was only the second bike I have ever owned in my life.  My first bike was a orange banana seat bike that my parents bought me when I was 12 or 13 or 14 – somewhere around there.  I had that bike until 3 years ago when I moved into my new apartment.  It was old, needed new tires, and really was too small for me so I left it behind.  Both of my boys had bikes but only rode around the small parking lot of my apartment complex.

So this spring, I finally decided I would buy a bike and we all could go on bike rides together.  I found an adult size bike, pink and purple – my favorite colors for only $20 and the cost of a new tube for the back tire. A friend changed the tube, aired it up, lowered the seat, and sent me on my way.  Even with the seat in the lowest position, I can barely touch the ground when sitting on it and I have this fear – probably an irrational fear but still – that I am going to fall.  I, therefore, have not pursued the family bike rides I originally intended.

When I was a teenager and even into my early twenties, I rode my bike everywhere.  I lived in the country and I would ride my bike to friends’ house and even to the mall.  Fortunately, my mom worked at the mall and I could load the bike in the back of the van and ride home with her. I loved my bike – it gave me freedom, it gave me independence, and it gave me mobility.

The MS Society hosts an annual fundraising event called “Bike to the Bay.” It is a two-day event where riders can choose a 50, 75, or 100 mile ride on both days.  There is also a 35-mile, Saturday only, ride. My cousin, a friend of hers, and I decided we were going to participate in the “Bike to the Bay.” I started training. I went on a few long bike rides but thought this would be a piece of cake.  Well, was I ever wrong!  I did not make the full route on the first day and did not even attempt the return trip on the second. It was still a wonderful memory and I raised some money for a worthy cause.

So my goal this weekend is to take that bike ride with my kids even if it is only around the block.  That is if we can fit it in with a wedding on Saturday afternoon and my son’s football game on Sunday afternoon.

So I ask you again, when was the last time you went for a back ride?  Leave me a comment with your memories of riding a bike.

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