A couple weeks ago I celebrated turning 40 by buying a child bike seat. This gift was both for me and my son. My wife, I think, appreciates it as well seeing how she gets both of us out of the house for at least an hour every time we go for a ride so she can relax and do her girly things.
The reason I bring this up is because today as we rode the streets of Chicago I was taken back to when I was young and riding through the small town I grew up in. Not that Spring Arbor, MI is anything like Chicago because it definitely isn’t. The town I grew up in wasn’t big enough to be a town or even have a traffic light.
What made me think about riding my bike as a youth was the freedom I was feeling as I pushed the pedals and weaved back and forth across the road. The wind rushing through my helmet (although spending most of my youth in the 80’s meant I didn’t wear a helmet back then) and the sounds of the tires pounding over the cracks took me back to the sidewalks I raced around with my brother and friends. We’d race from one side of town to the other looking for anything leading to adventures.
Not often enough do I allow myself to completely enjoy my rides like I did today. Too many times I’m dreading the work day ahead as I commute or am too concerned with riding faster than I did the previous ride. Today I let myself enjoy the sun beating down on us and the heat making me sweat just a little bit more. I had fun pointing out the ducks along the trail, the big trucks and excavators sitting idle on this lazy Sunday afternoon to William. I enjoyed the little spurts of excitement William would have when he saw the train or a dog or just waving and saying goodbye to perfect strangers. Today I enjoyed the ride more than the destination because for me the destination was the ride.