For my 14th birthday, my parents got me a beautiful bike. It was a deep-purple and black marbled Norco Bush Pilot 21-speed mountain bike, and I loved it. For 4 years, that bike got me nearly everywhere. It was my pride and joy.
Then I got a car, and eventually the bike was retired to my parents’ garage. It made a brief reappearance during the summer after my first year of university while I was between cars, but returned to storage shortly afterwards.
Last fall, I retrieved the bike, and found that it was in rough shape – beyond my scope of repair, even with instructional videos – so it sat in my own garage until last month.
Then we had a string of bad luck that included our car being off the road for more than a week, and with both my partner and I having to get to work, transportation started to become very expensive. I needed my bike.
A new shop had opened up in town – an amazing little coffee shop and bike shop combined, and I took my bike in there to be checked over and repaired. It wasn’t cheap, but my bike was back to like new within a week, and the owner of the shop says it has another 20 years in it (god, has it really been that long since I was 14?).
I rode it home the day I picked it up from the shop, and learned two things along the way. One, riding a bike really is the way people say – you never actually forget – and two, I LOVE to ride. I had completely forgotten how free riding makes me feel. How happy and relaxed.
Today I went out for what was only my fourth ride since getting my bike back. I did 5.26 miles before breakfast, and could have easily kept going had I not decided I was hungry.
When I got home, my partner asked how the ride was. Before I could even answer, they responded “I think somebody has found her passion”. It’s true. All day today I have been thinking about going back out to ride.
I just wish I had more opportunity to get better. There is a women’s cycling group in the area, but one of the requirements to join is a road bike – which mine is clearly not – and it’s way out of the budget at the moment.
Someday. For now, I ride solo, and I love every minute of it.