|My first bike - Sears Spyder circa 1970. Image courtesy of oldroad.com|
Way back. Back to a time when the toughest decision you needed to make during any given day was which color popsicle you would eat first. Life was as simple as hopping on your bike and pedaling from one adventure to the next.
As long as I was back in time for dinner, I could pretty much go wherever my bike would take me. Down the block to a friend's house. Over to the neighborhood White Hen Pantry. Up to the public swimming pool. Off to playgrounds near and far.
Sometimes the adventure didn't involve any destination in particular. My bike was simply the vehicle that put my imagination into action. Sometimes it was a motorcycle. Other times it was a fighter jet, a horse, a police car, or any other conveyance needed to complete the fantasy. I didn't require a game console and a big screen TV to simulate an experience - I just utilized my brain and my bike.
It's been over forty years since that first solo trip around the block, yet I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I was on my older brother's Stingray-like bike which was clearly too big for me to ride. I hovered over the top tube, pedaling sporadically to keep from toppling over. Each time I attempted to scoot up onto the seat I would lose momentum and the bike would start to wobble. Rather than risk crashing - which I'm sure I had done dozens of times before I finally attained that right combination of forward motion and side-to-side balance - I continued to stand up on the pedals until I had circumnavigated the entire block.
The five year-old version of me hopped on that bike determined to master an elusive motor skill and returned not merely satisfied with an achievement, but addicted to a new sensation. I still grin like a five year-old each time I throw a leg over my bike.
Every bike ride is an adventure.
Whether zipping over to the library or exploring a regional rail trail, tooling around the forest preserve or riding 150 miles to raise money for MS research, each outing has the potential to relax your mind while activating your imagination. Every trip can stimulate your senses while simulating your childhood memories.
Bicycling will help you reclaim your health while you relive your youth.
There is no better time than right now to rediscover bicycling. You never forget how to ride a bike - it's been scientifically proven, by the way. Enjoying our unseasonably warm weather and getting back in shape is as easy as riding a bike.
Follow this blog for a series of posts on how you can rediscover bicycling. From slowly riding yourself back into shape to evaluating that bike hanging in the garage, I'm here to offer advice and encouragement. I'll provide you with insider's tips for buying accessories and offer reviews of fun and safe places to ride.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready to take my bike out on some local sales calls today. I love an early spring!
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This post originally appeared on Chicago Now / Easy As Riding A Bike. Reprinted by permission of author (me). Copyright 2012, Brent Cohrs