Why do I enjoy bikes so much? What is it about this thing, that almost killed me in Kindergarten (literally), gave me stitches to the bone in High School, and broke my two beautiful front teeth in College, that makes me so damn happy every time I ride?
Freedom. Simplicity. Thrill?
Biking was the first way I could get far away from home. Riding to a friend’s house down the street, just to ride back up the hill to pick up as much speed as possible on the way down. Some of my earliest memories are being in the back of a Burley trailer with my sister – having my mom pedal us to the 7-11 to get Cowtails and Slurpees. It was my vehicle of choice to get to the pool, Dairy Queen, McDonalds… ahh High School right?
But it was really in College that I fell in love with biking. At the bike co-op my Sophomore year I got to experience first-hand bike mechanics/tinkering. Starting with an old steel frame and a bunch of spare parts, with a lot of help from Pete M., I built my first bike. Wow did that feel good. Riding that smooth hunk of metal with the wheels whirring perfectly and freshly-oiled-derailleurs responding to the top tube friction shifters. Now it’s just leaned up the bike rack outside and I’ve moved on. But I haven’t forgotten. No really, I haven’t, as soon as I can bust the rusted shut D-lock I’m going to take it apart and let someone else try and build it.
It still amazes me when I’m sitting on top of a bike and I know (just about) exactly how it functions. It gives me the freedom to ride on and off road, anywhere I need to go around town, just with the power of my own legs. and Damn, have my legs gotten stronger since I fell in love with a bike.